Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's on me

First, we were waiting for my name change to be official. Next, I needed to be added to Mr. I’s bank account and get my direct deposit switched over. Then, I needed a Saturday morning free to go to the bank (because heaven forbid they would operate a branch with hours convenient for a busy working girl). Now, the time has come for me to close out my bank accounts and move all my financial assets over to our bank account. I’m not going to lie, there’s a large part of me that doesn’t want to do it.

The hubby and I talked about merging our finances, long before we ever started considering the idea of marriage. Then, when things got more serious, we talked about it even more. We decided since we would combine our lives, our homes, our friends/family, we should also combine our bank accounts. It has always seemed like a pretty practical thing to do. And besides, how can you truly share a life with someone who you don't trust with your money?

And I do trust Mr. I completely.

But I have saving money since back in the day when people actually read newspapers and I took over an early morning paper route. I remember going to the bank on my 18th birthday to open a savings account, checking account and CD, all in my own name (something I saw as a rite of passage to becoming an adult). I was proud of how much I had earned and of how much I had saved. I felt the same pride when I could order a pizza in college “just because” and when loved ones open up presents that I purchased with that money.

I’ve always loved that I’m not the girl who expects or needs my dates to pay. I take pride in being able to dish out the dough for a dinner or two. Without my own bank account, I can never say “don’t worry babe, this round is on me.” Sure, I have my own shiny card with my new name on it, but for some reason it’s just not the same.

So I started to consider that maybe there really is something to be said about keeping a little part of our finances separate. Something for personal wants (and I’m not talking about one of those credit cards that it used to just hide an indulgent shoe purchase), something to continue to grow and take personal pride in.

But then something I think I've known all along sparked. It’s not just about me anymore. Marriage, and the financial merges and debates that come with it, is about partnership. It is about contributing to the partnership equally and fully. The partnership is about going out to dinner and knowing that we worked hard to deserve it, a gift we can give each other every time we stop at our favorite restaurant. The partnership is about presents to friends and family being from both of us.

Haven’t we always said it’s the thought that counts anyway? Does it really matter whose actual dollar is spent, especially when we are fortunate enough to be on a fairly equal financial playing field?

So even though on Saturday I will have to drag myself out of bed a little early to get to the bank before it closes and withdrawal all the funds I’ve built up over the past few years, I won’t be upset, sad or angry. I won't be because I know what I’m building with that money. I’m building a down payment towards the house we will someday share together. And more than that, I’m building a strong, equal partnership with the man I married.

And you can take that to the bank. ;)


  1. I'm glad you came to that conclusion. Shows a maturity many young couples lack. One thing I always try to keep in mind w/ situations like this: if your reasoning boils down to pride, it's probably the wrong reasoning. Even if it's the so-called "good kind of pride."

    Nice post. I can feel myself becoming more prepared for my own marriage....which ideally is 10+ years away :)

  2. Thanks for the feedback Jeff. I love your advice about keeping pride in check...something anyone (married or not) should keep in mind!


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