Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"My Wife is Going to Kill Me!"

Every once in a while, I see "My Wife is Going to Kill Me!" posted (mainly), on car-related boards.

I've never really understood what prompts guys to post such lame cries for help, for the world to see. The funny thing is that most try to wiggle out of their own trap, when questioned by others.

Those posts usually start with some dude sharing that he, an adult—mind you—ran across one of those "Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," where he used money earmarked for house expenses (I am guessing), to purchase a vehicle.

I comprehend that when a man and a woman live together (whether married or not), the boundaries of independence start to blur.

And while I totally agree with the importance of maintaining an excellent credit standing—by paying all household-related bills on time, buying groceries, and saving for retirement—I also believe that a great percentage of couples confuse love with finances, or just mix them up in the same bowl.

That's a bad idea.

My girlfriend and I use—what we consider—a more balanced approach to our household finances.

We each have our own money and bank accounts. We also have a "House Account," at the same bank. That account is what we use to pay our mortgage, utilities, supermarket bill, and other house-related expenses.

As long as we both keep that account fed in a timely fashion, per our budget plan, all is well with our Universe.

So, for example, if I decide to spend money on my car, buy another, or get more tools (garage space keeps me in check), as long as I use MY money to do so, my girlfriend is cool with that.

If she decides to buy more clothes or shoes (closet space does not appear to be a hindrance), as long as she uses HER money to do so, I am cool with that.

I tell her she owns way too many shoes. She tells me I own way too many tools. So we're even. End of discussion.

I understand that in some cases, only one partner may work, while the other is a stay-at-home mom or dad, so our approach as described above, may not apply. Having said that, I think it is unwise to share a household and have only one bank account to run the whole shebang.

I know we have not invented anything new with our system. And maybe our approach is overly simplistic, but there's no reason to unnecessarily complicate something basic like maintaining the household finances in order, as well and separate. It's just a matter of planning.

Remember, as the old axiom says, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail."

By the way, I may buy another car one of these days, and I ain't skeered.