- 3 years ago
I was talking to SO about post-wedding finances, and I can use some advice.
A little background info: SO escaped a war-torn country as a child with his family, spent two years of his childhood in a refugee camp, before coming to Canada with nothing. I grew up under the poverty line (as most kids in single-parent families do), but my family has a middle-class sort of mentality and I have lots of loving aunts, so I never really wanted for anything.
SO hates parting with money and is always saving for a rainy day. I’d say I’m definitely a saver who is very careful with my money. I appreciate nice things but I don’t splurge often; I do, however, like to eat well (not as in expensive restaurants, but really good ingredients – good meats, good quality produce) and I like to eat out.
Being with SO, my one main worry has always been the fact that we look at money differently. Even though he makes well over twice what I earn, he lives like an impoverished student – he buys generic brand everything – and his overall lifestyle, entertainment preferences, etc., don’t really require him to spend much money at all. I always considered myself low-maintenance because I always just expected my FH to buy me whatever diamond he can afford, but SO was the one who told me about moissanite and that really put me off for a while…
I worry about our differences because money is the #1 cause for divorce. So when I learned about how some couples pay their bills based on the percentage they make of the total household income, I thought that was a great idea. As long as the bills are paid, we have a vacation fund, a retirement fund, and an emergency fund, the rest of the money we have left we can do what we want. Fair and conflict-free.
But apparently SO doesn’t like that idea. He thinks that once we get married everything should go into a joint account. He thinks the whole point of getting married is sharing life and that includes finances. He thinks that in the eyes of the law, the money both of us makes is half his and half mine (I think that’s BS – this is only the case when one of us dies/we get divorced). He says there’s no point in getting married if we keep our finances separate (I said that’s not true – getting married means we’re committing to each other for the rest of our lives, we’ve decided to raise a family together, and we will be each other’s next of kin in case of emergencies).
…I think this is exactly how people get divorced – mixing finances when they view money differently. He doesn’t think this problem is insurmountable because we can allocate “play money” for each of us each month that we’re free to use as we please, and because he originally thought that meant I didn’t want to save money but I do. He says that we essentially want the same things (take care of bills, save money for vacations, retirement, and emergencies), but we just had different ideas about going about it.
I think this is still going to be a potential disaster. My mother barely works and I give her a large chunk of my paycheque each month – there’s no way he’d think that’s reasonable. We will end up resenting each other for being frivolous/miserly.
Any advice out there/words of comfort? I’m so worried!!!