When you get the good fortune to find someone in this life that you can tolerate for the next 60 years, the next step is usually the combining of households. Nothing says “I love you” more than the willingness to live in the same space and share the same toilet. Only love could bring us to the point where we would want to share the most intimate of spaces. However, more intimate than the sharing of time on the porcelain throne is the sharing of money.
Now there are some couples I know that keep their finances separate. Their money is their money and all combined bills are split in half. If it works for you then that is fantastic. However, this is not the case with P and myself. From the second we got engaged for the third and final time (sometimes a girl needs to be proposed to several times in order to make sure her gentleman caller is serious) we knew that there would be a melding of what little money we had at the time. That is the nice thing about being poor, no prenup is necessary because nobody wants half of nothing.
The agreement we had before we walked down the aisle was that I would be in charge of paying the bills and the finances. The reason for this was simple: P was the dreamer and I was the realist. I am finding out that when it comes to money you have to be real.
This worked the first few years of our marriage. I paid the bills, we budgeted out what we could afford and had very little debt besides our *shiver* student loan debt (I’m not going to rage…errr…I mean write about that topic in fear of developing carpal tunnel syndrome).
Then resentment built up on both sides. P felt like he was constantly on a budget and being told “no” when he wanted to buy something. I felt like I was constantly saying “no” and was tired of being the responsible one.
P’s dreamer mentality was appealing to me. So much so that I let go of the financial reins, closed my eyes and became a dreamer too. It was pure bliss, until I woke up after a couple of years to find us in over $12,000 of credit card debt. A very rude awakening indeed.
That is when I realized that there is only room for one dreamer in this marriage and it is not me. I have always been the girl with her feet firmly planted on the ground. A realist when it comes to life, love and finally with money again. My realistic mentality is getting us out of debt that my dreamer mentality got us into (but it sure was fun to be a dreamer while it lasted).
If you combine your finances and you want to be financially secure there has to be one person who is a realist. There has to be someone who is talking sense (or cents, *wink* *wink*) when it comes to money.
So let me end this post by making a confession. My name is Angela and I am a realist. There, I said it. I am no little suzy homemaker, I am a healthy proportionately sized suzy sensemaker. And I am okay with that.
Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below. Would love to know how many of my readers are dreamers or realists when it comes to money.