It’s not too often that I share something of a personal nature on my blog. This is one of those times.
My wife manages just about everything financially for us. My entire paycheck goes into her bank account. She pays [just about] all of the bills. When we go most places, it’s her credit card and debit card that gets used to purchase the various goods and services we consume. And to be completely honest, I’m ok with this, with some minor exceptions.
She’s got a proven track record, having been in accounting for over 20 years, knowing how to manage money and all of the financial matters. We’ve paid off several credit cards and my car loan, so I’ve seen her management of this first hand. And we’ve been able to travel and do some things with the house and still manage to have coffee, creamer, milk, juice and oatmeal available for me to fix each morning. All in all, it’s a system that works, with some minor exceptions.
But even the best of operations have their gotchas. And this is where mine come in here.
There’s something to be said for having your own money – without restrictions. Not just spending like a mad man, but without having to check in with the finance manager and just being able to purchase something. This is my exception to the almost perfect system of our financial management.
I have my own credits cards, including one that I still make my own payment – not coming from my day job income. It’s a nice independence to have a card that I can just make a purchase, without consulting my wife before hand.
But there is the issue of making the payment, how much I put on the card, keeping my balance at a reasonable level. So far, making the payment hasn’t been an issue as I’ve been able to do little side jobs here and there, or pull from savings. Up until now this has worked, but I can foresee the day when this flexibility of having my own little financial piece of management will be limited even more.
Since my wife and I have separate bank accounts as well, the issue of managing my own financial part hasn’t come into play, regardless of the bulk of what I make not being 100% available to me. But if it were to go away completely, I could see how that would bother me. I liken it to an older person that’s been driving for years, then being told they can’t drive anymore. Having that independence removed tends to be a difficult adjustment.
But there are compromises that we have made so far. One is I now have a debit card that is linked to my wife’s checking account. This has made it possible for me to make various store, food and other purchases without having to pull from my personal accounts. I admit that it’s helped in having some direct access to the money I make that contributes to our household.
Also, with most of my credit cards being paid out of my wife’s checking account, I still have use of them, keeping my purchases [and their amounts] to a manageable level. This helps in knowing that at least I’m financially contributing to not only what I spend, but to our overall debt.
And this also doesn’t discount that my wife and I discuss financial matters on a regular basis. Things such as major purchases are things that we debate, making sure we don’t over extend ourselves and ensuring we are both on the same page.
The bonus to all of this is that I’ve become a much better manager of my own finances. Not that I was horrible with my money before, but I do appreciate to know more about being able to better keep track of what I spend and make. Add to that the ability that I’ve had of getting 0% credit cards to do balance transfers to reduce the amount of interest I pay, I feel a bit more liberated in being able to feel like I’ve contributed to our overall financial picture.
In The End
So while I may balk at concerns with my reduction of managing my own finances, I’ve learned to adjust with the few little bits I still have control over. And in the future, I’m sure I will try my best to be open to more changes, just as long as they are not too drastic.