My fiance and I have separate finances. We’ve been together since we were 16 and bought and moved into our first home at 26 – it just made sense to keep doing what we were doing. Our mortgage is the only joint account we have which we both contribute to but we don’t have anything else together.
When it comes up in conversation people are always so surprised, as if having separate accounts means we’re less serious about our relationship than others are. It’s something we briefly discussed and we both decided that we like having our own independent accounts.
I think it creates an environment where neither of us feels that we have to explain or justify a purchase that we simply want. It ensures trust and it promotes responsibility in our lives.
When others ask me if I care what my partner spends his money on, I usually don’t. And the reason I don’t is because it’s not my concern. As long as he (and I) are paying off our mortgage and bills and contributing to savings, I don’t care what he does with his extra money. Because it’s just that – his. Just like my left over money is mine. This doesn’t mean that we won’t help the other out if necessary but it does mean that if he wants to spend $400 on a new gaming console he can, just like I’m free to spend $300 on books if that’s what I want to do.
We also don’t necessarily share what we spend our money on. If I purchase a big ticket item, I don’t feel the need to say “hey, buddy, I spent $1200 on an online course today.’ If it comes up in conversation I’ll mention it but I don’t feel the need to disclose it. And neither does he. There’s also no hiding purchases in the boot of the car. There’s no pretending that this top is old when it’s obviously brand new. There’s no justifying a $200 lunch out. If we want to share we share, if we don’t, we won’t. We figure if the other was interested they’ll ask about it.
Doing it this way also ensures that we are both able to manage finances. It means that if something were to happen to one of us, the other would still be able to manage daily tasks, like paying bills. It surprises me how many people in my life have one partner do everything and the other has no idea about any of it. This scares me so much and is part of the reason I like having my own finances. It scares me that people leave themselves vulnerable to a situation that could be prevented.
Finances are a tricky thing to navigate though and there is no one step fits all. Whether you keep your finances separate or together is your choice. My only advise is that you are at least aware of how you do look financially and have an understanding of your daily expenses.
Whats your view on sharing finances?