It’s interesting. I’ve discussed this topic with a few of my friends and we all come from different camps.
We’re all so different… here are some of the things I’ve heard.
His money is my money.
He decides the budget.
I often ask him when I want to buy something.
Our money is our money.
To prenup or not to prenup.
Sometimes I’ll buy a handbag and I won’t tell him.
We can’t make it for a holiday this year because we don’t have it in the budget.
My money is my money.
I don’t feel like I have a right to the money he earns.
We’ve got separate accounts.
Before I begin this – I want to say a few things.
- I’m not the expert on this – we’ve just mostly come to a peaceful place about it, so I thought it’d be helpful to share
- For some, money is a sensitive topic, not one for the bed or at a mealtime
- It seems to be the common cause of fights for a lot of couples I know – so you aren’t alone
Okay. Here is my experience on money. I’m hoping it helps you in some way.
We used to have a lot of issues in our marriage because of money. I was used to getting whatever (mostly) I wanted. I’d rarely worked to a fixed amount of money in my life. So naturally, after I was married, V thought I didn’t really appreciate the value of money. He was right (at the time).
Over time however, I really evolved. The business made losses and I had to understand that I needed to make extremely considered choices for the things I wanted. At some point – I also went into extreme “I can’t buy anything” mode. Which made me unhappy and unable to treat myself with the things I love and value.
V didn’t realise that I had evolved. So sometimes he’d suggest we hold back on something and he didn’t know how much I’d mulled and assessed the situation.
So now, we’ve come to a point where we tackle money issues this way:
- Anything under $300 – trust the judgement of V / K
Anything over $300 – respect each other and consider them in the decision.
- Anytime we’re disagreeing, open up the cards. We really pull apart the bank accounts and look at how much we have, how much we have coming. Then we usually both come to the same conclusion about what decision to take. (I wanted a camera for Mother’s Day and this is how I got it. I wanted to go to Sydney, but I’m going to have to put it off till next year because we have to make other travel plans as well).
- Knowing and respecting what is important to each other. For you it might be dinners out at NOBU and for him, it might be the new gardening equipment. You’re different people and it’s only natural to want different things. And we all need to have some degree of our desires met to feel happy and really enjoy the efforts.
- Motherhood shouldn’t change a damn thing. Instead, it should make you more confident of your stake in everything if you do need to call stakes. I’m ridiculously adamant about this and I can say without a hitch in my voice, that V would agree. We know it’s the hardest thing. Nothing beats the labour and love you need to raise a child. Not even being a Prime Minister. It’s 24/7, it’s blind devotion and it’s constant self sacrifice (if you aren’t careful). It shocks me when women think that staying at home with the kids means they get less of a share and less of a say.
- Talk and understand. When V has a contract going, I try and understand the overview and know what is at risk and what could be frustrating him. Likewise, he knows the total we’re making monthly and what we need to do when BAS is due for my design business. We both never know what is coming in the next 6 months because we run our own businesses. The regular conversations for us are essential.
Hope this helps. If you’re still fighting about it – seek some external counsel. I’m a fan of new argument topics 😉