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Dealing with bank accounts and my financial responsibilities is not my strong suit. If I were better with money I would probably be typing this from my gold-plated super-mac, sipping down mojito’s on a beach in Costa Rica, where I would dedicate my time to food and Dawson’s Creek re-runs. But I am not.
While some of my friends were investing, buying, capitalising and saving I was spending, loaning, wining and dining. Heck, I can barely work a calculator and say my six times tables. I’m the person standing there on my iPhone at the end-of-year sales trying to work out how much a pair of boots cost with a 30% discount.
Recently one of my friends raised the issue of fiscal responsibility and after quickly googling the meaning of the term fiscal responsibility, and discovering it has nothing to do with seafood, I started thinking more about money and relationships.
When Matt and I moved in together one and a half years ago, along with pooling all of our separate belongings into one big pile of ‘our’ stuff and squabbling over who had too much wardrobe space (I have twice as many clothes, I need twice as much space – it’s a valid argument) we also joined our bank accounts.
In divulging this information to a friend yesterday I was met with the response “You’re stupid”. Subtle. I like the way you’ve carefully worded your feelings there and given me some sound advice wrapped in the loving warmth of friendship. Naturally I don’t tend to think that I am stupid so completely disagree with her vague and indirect statement.
The simple truth of the matter is that I don’t like worrying about my budget and working out how much money I have to spend and save, it’s annoying and at times depressing. As long as there is enough money to do what I want to do, like have drinks with friends and go out for dinner, then I’m happy.
I am so bad with all things financial that until last year I had never done a tax return. Why not? Because I didn’t think it was necessary, I thought it was optional. It wasn’t until a very close friend asked me if I had lodged mine and then looked mortified when I replied “No, I don’t do tax”, that I learnt it is compulsory.
Matt loves everything to do with numbers and finance. He loves it, he eats it for breakfast! This is also why he loves playing fantasy league football, because it’s all based on statistics (yawn). I’m blessed enough to have met a man who acts as my personal stockbroker and banker, only I can trust him completely.
My man takes care of business (insert finger snap here) while I’m lounging around like a fat lizard in the sun. He manages all of our finances, saves what we need to save and makes sure that we still get to do all of the things that we want to do. It’s the dream outcome for me.
The friend who busted out the ‘stupid’ comment does not agree. It’s her firm belief that I’ve gone mad and have also gone against years of hard-fought ground work laid by the feminist movement. That, in handing over control of all things financial to a man, I’ve also handed over my woman-hood. My view is that she needs to calm down and stop over thinking it, the truth is I’m just lazy.
If I could have someone go to work for me, do my job then come home and give me the money I earned that day, all for free, I’d take it. I could be doing other very important things with my time like learning a language or establishing a network of the greatest super heroes ever known to fight crime, no wait that’s already been done. Curse you Marvel.
My point here is that it’s the same concept: why do something I’m terrible at and don’t want to do, when someone I love and trust is willing to do it for me, with both of our best interests at heart and we reap the benefits together.
The rules have completely changed when it comes to relationships and money. Not so long ago the man used to work and the woman would stay at home, he would look after all the finances and the woman was allocated an allowance or budget.
Times have changed and I know people in all different relationship/money situations. I know people who are married that have totally separate bank accounts with just one shared account between them for bills or mortgage payments. Some share everything and others share nothing.
When it comes to people in relationships working out their money situation, I am definitely not one to judge. Seeing as Matt looks after our joint account and I rarely look at it, the truth is he could very well have a wife and child in another part of the world that I’m paying for. I sincerely hope he doesn’t because it’s too late for me to learn about banking now that I’ve tasted the good life, and I’m not really a fan of open relationships.
Personally I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to deal with money in a relationship, it all comes down to what works best for you. If you can devise a system between the two of you that means you don’t fight or argue over it but you still meet your shared goals, then you’ve succeeded in my books. Mark that one down as a victory for team love! Wow, that was lame, even for me.