I never really understood how finances work in relationships. In this instance, I’m talking more about marriage. Who pays what? Do both pay cheques go into a joint account? I’ve always done my finances my own way. My mom does my tax returns because she’s in the accounting game, but once I’m done school, that will all change. I’ve grown very accustomed to a strict budgeting schedule where I know how much money I have to spend on treats and toys, how much goes into savings, and what portion goes to bills, etc. What do married people do? Does all the money go into a joint account and then get filtered out accordingly? Are all spending decisions discussed before they can occur? I don’t know about everyone else, but that sort of life style would not go over well with me.
When I was younger, the minute I earned a few dollars, my mom would tell me I had to put it in the bank when all I wanted to do was buy toys and candy. I hated how the money I earned couldn’t be spent the way I wanted to spend it. I guess it was a learning experience, because back then I didn’t know the meaning of budgeting (I mean, I didn’t have any bills!). So now when I get threw high school with summer jobs, university with summer jobs and work study, grad school with GTA’s, GRA’s, GSA’s and part time jobs, then finally end up in the dream job I earned through 10 years of hard work, do I have to go back to having to get permission to spend the money I earned?
This is probably something people don’t think about when getting into a long term relationship. There will come a time when financial decisions need to be made and those adult decisions your parents made now fall into your lap. How many people think about what it takes to actually purchase a home? So many little steps are overlooked. Insurance, property taxes, closing fees, etc.. I think before I buy a home, I’ll have to do a course on Home Purchasing.
Nevertheless, on to why I really wanted to ask. When you get into a relationship, you 2 get married and your significant other has a lot of debt, does their debt suddenly become ‘our’ debt? Are you obligated to ‘help’ pay their debt off? When the bank accounts become joint bank accounts, are the debts ‘joint’ as well? I personally think that they should not be joint debts (I don’t even like the idea of joint bank accounts). If you accumulate your debt on your own time, it would be unfair to rely on someone else to pay them off for you. I asked my mom what she thought of the idea and she completely agreed with me. It sounds mean, but at the end of the day, the person should have the right to choose whether to bail someone out of debt or not, not be strong-armed and guilt tripped into it.
Does that make me a cruel person? I just do not think it is fair to work so hard to get to a stage in your life where you are financially stable, and then have to give it all away just because you get married. Do not get me wrong, if I had Bill Gates money, $100,000 is nothing to give away. However, not everyone is as fortunate is Bill Gates.