Friday, October 26, 2007

Money, Money, Money, Money .... MONEY

Not long ago, I was listening to this Christian talk show on the AM dial. Why? Because, over time, it seems that I have become terrifically bored with FM stations that aren't NPR. The Emerson College station is pretty hip and enjoyable, but I've developed a complete and utter lack of patience for popular music. Don't ask me how or when this happened! I can't tell you the answer. All I can say is that I would rather sit in the car and rage at some right-winged smoke blower on talk radio than tap my foot along to an overplayed classic rock song or a tired, old "alternative" hit. I love the Ramones, but I'd rather be sedated than listen to "I Wanna Be Sedated" for the 12 millionth time. Right, so, I was listening to this pre-recorded program of this minister talking to a group of people about marriage and finances. Oh, did this guy frost my behind! He first went on about how when you get married, the money becomes "our money" not "my money." Forget about your past relationship with money, he preaches, you are one with another person now. Metaphorically, I guess this is what you are supposed to believe with marriage, but I have more problems with this idea that I can shake a stick at. While marriage unites two people in many regards, your souls don't meld into one all of a sudden. You don't instantaneously lose your identity. That's ridiculous! Decisions become joint and there's a lot more compromise in your life, but I think it's dangerous to think of "former" self as something of a ghost.

The money thing. Having learned the hard way that pooling money together is futile, I can honestly say that I strongly suggest keeping your money separate. In theory, putting it together seems like the perfect thing to do, right? You put yours in, I'll put mine in, great! Wrong. You will never stop fighting about it. This is exactly why money is a problem for so many couples. Remember when you had roommates and everyone paid a certain amount for the rent and other expenses? You divide things up in about 5 minutes. You pay the phone bill, I'll pay the gas and electric, whatever. No fights. You just go about your life. Why does this need to change when you get married? I guess if a woman wants to take time off to raise children, then this model doesn't apply, but more and more households require 2 incomes. I say, like that overplayed alternative hit from 1994, keep 'em separated! If your spouse doesn't hold up their end of the financial burden, then you married the wrong person and chances are, they'll disappoint you in a million other ways.

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Blogger DJDiva said...

First I agree about how sucky FM radio is. If I forget my ipod on my drive to work my only decent choice is 88.9 for some good music.

Second I totally agree about having your own money - trying to pool it only causes fights. I've definitely learned that one the hard way too. People always have different spending habits and you can't expect that just because you are married that you both have the same priorities on spending. What is a reasonable expense for me for a pair of shoes - to most men seems insane, yet at the same time they see nothing wrong with spending the same amount on a video game system, or 5 times as much for a new tv. If you keep the money separate I get my shoes and he gets his crazy video game and everyone is happy.

October 28, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger 02145 said...

Amen! You should be free to spend your money on whatever you wish after your joint expenses are accounted for. Life is way too short!

I, too, choose the way of the iPod or mix CD if I'm not listening to the news.

(Incidentally, there is nothing at all wrong with buying shoes! They are an investment. I will spend a lot of cash on a pair of shoes I know if made well and have a lot of versatility. You can never go wrong with a nice Mary Jane!)

October 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM  

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