Split Finances: The Why

Ben is a planner. He likes to plan and make spreadsheets and know what’s happening before it happens.

I am not. I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants person. I don’t necessarily care what’s happening next and if I have to think about it too much I start to worry about it and try to assess all the worst case scenarios that might pop up and then I shut down and end up eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the closet at 1:00AM.

These two different styles of thought apply to MANY things. Finances, for instance! So for the longest time Ben had been in charge of our finances. I kept a general eye on the bank account and I had general ideas how much we paid for things but I had no idea when they were due or how much he might have budgeted for any of it. Because of this we had an agreement in place that if either of us was going to spend over $X.XX we’d talk to the other person first. Ben was REALLY good about this. I was NOT. Again, I’m a fly by the seat of my pants person, remember!

The last straw came when I was Kirklands about six months ago and ALL THE THINGS were on sale so I ended up spending about $180 on stuff for the house. I had FULLY INTENDED on telling Ben about it that night but then, you know, life. So he was rightfully pretty upset when he saw it.

After we talked more calmly about it we both realized that it might be better for us to split finances.* We both have different passions. For Ben, it’s his M3, for me, it’s makeup and planners and making the house cute and etc. It was really hard to budget because we were both trying to push for our different wants AFTER our needs were met. I REALLY want Ben to be able to peruse his passion. I love seeing him get enjoyment out of something he loves so much. And I know that Ben wanted the same for me and this really was the best way for us to BOTH get what we wanted. He doesn’t have to explain where the money came from for all the car parts that are currently living in our workout room and I don’t have to explain to him why I NEEDED to buy the entire aisle of clear storage at the Container Store to organize my Washi tape by color and size.

So, that’s the WHY. Next time I’ll get into the How we make it work for both of us.

*This is a huge glossing over of what happened. Ben suggested it. I was like THAT IS TOTALLY NOT FAIR YOU MAKE DOUBLE WHAT I DO FUCK YOU AND YOUR HUGE INCOME! It took me a few days to realize I was being DUMB. I spent a lot of time reading about different ways that couples handled it and the thought of being able to spend whatever I want on whatever I want and not having to explain why was what I had always wanted so reacting the way I did was pretty ridiculous. Luckily, I have pretty much the most patient husband in the history of all husbands and he gave me time to realize this on my own and only said “I told you so” about 47 times.

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I’m the “Ben” here. I like to know what is going where and when. I manage all the finances and all money goes to a joint account with me being the “gatekeeper” with absolute control over where spending is. If I don’t do this, our bank account would be negative with Speedway, Autozone and Tim Horton’s spending. I think each couple has to do what works for them depending on their personalities and spending habits. Randy doesn’t know when anything is due, how much or even where to pay. I always tell him when I get stressed I’m going to hand control over to him to deal.

My now exhusband and I fought so much over money. I was all spend spend spend and he was bills save save save even when we had set up an agreement to discuss first if an x amount was being reached. Did not work for me lol

In my older age, I’m trying to be more careful plus I share a car with fiance right now so I can’t race to the nearest mall to spend like a crazy mofo. I think my last huge spend was $70 on an authentic fox stuffy from “The Little Prince” off of etsy.

Mike and I have had our finances split for the entire time we’ve been together (21 years) and are just now going to a joint account. I would pay all the bills (except cell phone) and buy most groceries out of my money and Mike would buy all the extra stuff and than the remaining was put into savings. He makes a lot more money than I do so it’s common place for me to have him purchase any of the extra things I want but didn’t have the funds for after the bills. It was his idea to do the whole joint account so I hope it works out smoothly.

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