If you are in a relationship, how do you deal with money? It’s not like you choose your romantic partner based on the fact that you have equal incomes and can therefore split every expense down the middle. It also doesn’t take into account different people’s financial priorities. Do you have financial autonomy in a relationship?
If you are making $100,000 a year but your partner is making $25,000 a year, are you going to be happy living in a place that the lesser-earning spouse can afford evenly or would you be willing to pay a larger portion of the bill to have more luxury in your life?
Do you merge finances or do you keep them separate? If you do have separate accounts are you still privy to every financial decision your spouse makes?
Example: The Equal Earning and Equal Expense Sharing Couple (Faux Financial Autonomy)
For example, let’s say a couple makes the same amount of money, $50,000 a year and both are debt free. They split their rent, groceries, utilities evenly and maybe they even split their dating costs evenly. Or the one who does the asking for the date foots the bill.
In this case, if both people are contributing their equal amount, is there really a reason for the other person to have access to every single account line? Do they need to know about that late fee from the bill that accidentally slipped your mind? Do they need to know just how much your makeup and skincare routine costs? If you are happy with your financial autonomy in a relationship then why would you let your partner see each and everything thing you’re buying? And exactly how much each and everything you are buying costs. Why do they get to see the inside workings of your “separate” finances?
You’re contributing your fair share, you’re saving money in line with your shared future, financial goals. Or are you? Do you budget together or do you take on budgeting and personal finance as just that: personal? If you are in a relationship where your finances are shared, how much is shared and how much is kept separate?
To tout complete financial autonomy within your relationship or even within your marriage, you have to be willing to keep your financial purchases separate. Why get mad about an occasional late fee or a splurge by the other person when it has no bearings on them contributing their fair share? And how does this financial autonomy come into play when deciding to purchase real estate together?
What are your thoughts on financial autonomy in a relationship? Do you believe that sharing everything equally is fair?
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