Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Does Caring Really Have to Equal Sharing?
This past weekend, Mr. W and I went to Fresno, Santa Ynez, and Santa Barbara, and on the drive north he realized he forgot something extremely important. No, not the corkscrew or his gold bikini briefs—his wallet. In addition to potentially posing some problems if he got pulled over, the oversight had us interacting in a way we hadn't really done before. See...we don't share a bank account.
We pretty much split everything financial (although I think he treats me to dinner WAY more often than I treat him), so having one person settle every bill for four days was a funny feeling for us both. Generally when we take trips, we also take turns, loosely tracking who got the last one and who'll get the next.
When I tell people this, they freak out. It's as thought our separate finances mean we're not actually married. I think they immediately assume that Mr. W was the instigator of this because he has quite a few more precious assets to his name.
But I'm the one who drew the dividing line.
I was a financially independent person for such a long time, I just couldn't make peace with the idea of combining our money. I don't want to think I'm dipping into his earnings. I don't want to have to worry about spending too much on a new dress or a baby shower gift. I don't want to hide things or ask permission. So instead I keep my moolah to myself and let him do the same.
That's not real commitment, some would say. And who knows—maybe they're right. Maybe my single-girl holdout is a detriment to our matrimonial bliss or success. But man I enjoy keeping my checkbook (Yes! I've admitted it before and will say it again!) balanced to the penny and knowing I'm responsible for my end of things.
That said, I was more than happy to file my taxes with Mr. W this year. Marriage does have its financial perks!
What are your thoughts on this? Does monetary sharing equal caring—or can keeping things separate still mean you're in love?