Marital Finances

"Ryan, what are your thoughts on... Marital Finances?"

That was how the conversation began last night. We were driving home from Bed Bath & Beyond, and I was hung up on how tedious the "are you paying or am I paying?" conversations were starting to get.

After all, it didn't really matter. Ryan and I had been keeping a running Excel spreadsheet of all shared finances since the day we moved in together almost a year ago. So if one person spent $300 more than the other person one month, then we would just even it out the next month. It never really mattered that much.

But recently I've been thinking about the whole "joint account" thing. It's something that's assumed of most newlyweds or soon-to-be-weds. I had always thought whoever I married and I would have a joint account, along with our own separate accounts.

Reasons: So birthday and Christmas presents would stay a secret, so I could go on the occasional shopping spree without guilt, and so I could feel like my job and my paycheck really meant something.

But Ryan had some valid arguments in the separate accounts "cons" column. Mainly: "What's the point?"

Logic: 1. Kelly: 0.

I guess when it comes right down to it, you're going to spend the money whether it comes from a joint account or a separate one... so it doesn't matter much. Plus, Ryan and I make essentially the same amount of money at our jobs, so there aren't any "I earned this money" fights.

And as for secret presents... I guess I could always just use cash. (Or rob the store?)

I wonder what most people do with their finances once they're married. I think having separate accounts is becoming more popular. People like the illusion of having money that is "all theirs".

For the time being, we'll keep our money separate. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my mom is still a co-signer on my account! That's definitely something that needs to change after the wedding.

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