One week before our wedding, I dragged my husband down to the bank, opened joint checking accounts, and pooled all of our money. We’d been together for five years, we’d lived together for two years, and up until that point, David hadn’t even had access to the pin number on my debit card. (Like, I made him step back and look away every single time I went to an ATM.)
While neither of us have any kind of perfect family history (I mean, who does really?), we both are the product of long happy marriages where money was always shared. In my family’s case, there often wasn’t a ton of money, but even when there was major money stress, there were never any power plays around money. All money was family money, and we used it in the smartest ways we could, and that was just the end of it. So given that, David sort of made fun of me for waiting till we had a marriage license in hand before my money became our money. (Worth noting: at the time he was a law student who had spent every penny of his savings, and I was killing myself to make and save bonuses in a profoundly miserable job sixty hour a week at an investment bank… so he for sure came out ahead in that particular moment.)
But when I turned to the Internet to figure out how other newlywed couples were managing their newly joint funds… I found out that they weren’t. Pretty much full stop. That the majority of newlyweds who read APW (not to mention the majority of people on our staff) hadn’t pooled their finances and were not sure they were ever going to, or why they should. And while, spoiler alert, I think you should pool your money, ever since then I have been fascinated by how couples deal with their finances.
Which brings us to today’s simple anonymous poll: tell us if you have shared finances or not! And then join us in the comments to discuss why or why not, and what your thoughts around this always complicated issue are.
do you share your finances? why or why not?
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