Thursday, July 2, 2009

matrimony and money matters

I just got back from the bank. Set up my own separate checking account and deposited this week's check into it.

But let me back up.

For my hubby's birthday I bought him this watch. A sweet little training aid. All sorts of cool bells and whistles.

And I bought it with the money I earned through my part time job as a receptionist and from photographing a wedding.

The past few years I have never known what to do around my husband's birthday, or Christmas, or whatnot. I didn't earn any money, it felt weird to buy him a gift with HIS money. Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be OUR money and yeah, the unpaid work I do as the stay-at-home mom has monetary value blah blah blah...

But, yeah. Financial dependence weighs heavy on me. And heightens my tendency to be ignorant of the family finances. Not sure why; I was obsessively aware of my finances as a single, and other (non-wage-earning) women I know exert complete control over their families financial matters. Me; I felt dependent, overwhelmed, out of the loop, and infantilized.

I've had this little part time job for a while now and have just been adding my meager earnings into the pool. But I've had the recurring thought to get my own account.
Well... to use it on all the little personal "just for me" expenses (like books and visiting friends). To save it. To watch it. To maybe gain a stronger sense of trying to increase the revenue flow (hmm, in this economic climate?) To regain the sense of watching over my finances. MY finances.

That's all. Had to share.


The Numismatist said...

Oh yeah... I could have written that post!

About three years ago I started rat-holing all of my change. You won't ever see me use coins when making purchases, it all goes in a hidden jar. Also, any money earned from photography goes in there. I don't feel guilty because dh has control of the finances (my choice--I hate doing it).

That money, as well as any left over from my monthly household budget adds up fast and it goes to make purchases that are just for me, such as the new lens in my gear bag that will go unnoticed.

The odd thing about my secret savings is that dh is extremely generous and would never turn me down if I had told him I wanted the lens. Sometimes it's just nice not to have to ask.

adamf said...

The biggest issue my wife and I have had is related to what money means to us. For her it's security, and for me it's freedom. In order to meet both of those needs, I have a monthly allowance that I can do whatever I want with, no questions asked. Granted, it's not much right now though.

I think what you have done is a good idea--the important thing is he knows about it, and that it provides you with whatever it is that you need in terms of control or autonomy or etc.

Chandelle said...

I didn't have much of a problem with Jeremy making all the money until I became the I'm really unhappy to not be working and not have that autonomy of knowing I can be self-sufficient. He never once lorded money over me or made me feel that our jobs were unequal, and I handled the budget most of the time, so it was never much of a question for us until I learned what it felt like to make money in a marriage. I don't know that we'll ever have separate accounts, but I sure wish we were both making income.

Lessie said...

I feel like congratulations are in order. So, Congratulations! Money is certainly an odd thing to manage in a marriage. I think it's awesome that you're making a bit of your own now. Kudos :)

D'Arcy said...

Yeah, I've known for a long time that I am just the type of woman that will always have her own account, her own last name, and her own room (as in a roomin the house, not as in a separate bedroom from my no no)

I have most Virginia Woolf to thank for those gems.

Congrats on the earnings!

Aerin said...

Congratulations to you for stepping out! It can be a difficult step, but feel empowering.