Homeowner By 30This post is inspired by LBC Teacher at
I married Y when I was 24 and he was 26. I was a college student and waiting tables. He was a private in the army. He had just moved back from Korea and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He asked me to marry him when he came home on leave after Korea. Two months later, I flew to TN and we got married at the courthouse. My sister met me there and his Sargent from Korea stood up for him. I moved there a month later.
Amazingly, we had never talked about money in detail or what our game plan would be for money despite dating for four years. The only thing we had agreed upon was that I would keep my own separate account with enough money to escape if I needed. Sidenote: after growing up in a very abusive situation, my husband needed to know that I would always have the means to leave if he hit me. This wasn't just for show--I would have and still would leave in a heartbeat at the first sign of abuse. I have zero tolerance for abuse.
Since I moved cross country, I closed my regional bank account and Y put me on his account as soon as we got to TN. He never kept a register but would check his balance via ATM. I pretty much took over the record keeping. I didn't have a job yet so we shared all of our money.
Throughout the nine years of our marriage, we've always shared one pot of money. We keep at least $500 in our checking account so we don't overdraft it. We talk about big purchases and share common goals with respect to paying off debt or savings. Neither one of us feel guilty for buying lunch out or going shopping. If we are spending too much money, we agree to make an effort to cut back.
By sharing one pot of money, we saved over $40,000 the year that Y was deployed to Iraq. We both wanted a house and we jointly saved for the down payment. It didn't matter that Y was making much more money than me.
Y made more money at first, then me, then Y, then it evened out and now I make more money. It is still our money, not his or mine. I really feel that if we had separate accounts, we would not be where we are today. I don't feel it would be fair if I had a ton of discretionary income and Y had not much. It wouldn't feel balanced. Even if we divided up the bills in proportion to what we make, I would still have way more money.
Obviously I'm a huge fan of having one shared pot of money. What do you think? What works for you?