By: Revanche

Married Life: A family budget and banking system

December 9, 2011

Once upon a time, I dreamed big for the future. Out of those dreams, I formulated a life plan wherein I’d be taking a professional health degree of some kind and a PhD, entering a white collar profession, and buying a home for myself and my parents (separate homes, mind) before the age of 30.  After 30 was a little hazy, but I figured plotting the next 23 years was good enough. Also, the juggle of two degrees and affording two homes was a tough enough nut to crack – I wasn’t ready to plot any more years.

This was before I knew the words “net worth” because, you know, seven years old, but you had better believe that the balance sheets did not include debt. I’d already been writing out the checks for the bills for my parents and knew how I wanted to set up my own budget when the time came.

You may notice, as my mother had, that I had made no provisions in those plans, for marriage or kids.  As far as I was concerned, it might happen, it might not, I wasn’t planning on it or depending on it and figured it wasn’t terribly relevant to the trajectory of my career and money. That was a pretty unsophisticated understanding of how life and marriage works. 

Clearly, I was bound and determined to have my own mind and at the time, that also meant keeping my own finances, separate and free. As the years passed, I saw too many bad choices made by one or another couple where there was a divide in the spender/saver continuum, even in my own family, or business decisions gone awry, especially in my own family, and I just couldn’t fathom living in that life. 

“If you live in a community property state, not combining finances is just lying to yourself about legalities.” @practicalwed

So once upon a time, I might have disagreed with Meg. Even though the only real example of marriage I had was the relatively healthy and supportive partnership my parents shared, I was still certain that I could keep separate finances in any prospective

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