I’m a huge proponent of women managing their own freaking money. Too many women I know let the men in their lives completely manage their finances with no visibility into their own dough. That’s a recipe for disaster. I know money stuff isn’t fun. But, sorry to break it to you – you’re an adult and not having fun is part of the job. So, put on your big girl panties and own your finances, even when they’re joint finances. That being said, some women don’t have all of their money in joint accounts. One of my girlfriends puts it this way, “His money is our money and my money is my money.” That’s not a rare point of view on finances. A lot of women think they need to keep at least a small amount of money separate from their man’s. In general, I’m a believer in combining everything when you’re married. But, there are a few times I think it’s OK for women to have their own money in a marriage.
When it makes you comfortable
Look, I don’t know what’s going on in your brain. If you can only feel secure if you have a little rainy day fund that’s all yours, who am I to tell you no? Feeling comfortable in your own life takes a lot of work and a separate bank account is actually a really easy fix. If you’ve been burned before by combining your finances, I get it. Don’t make the same mistake twice. Or if you’ve been raised by a mom who says you should always keep an emergency fund that only you can access, by all means, do it. Money is a personal thing and you have to do what’s right for you.
When you discuss with your partner
While I don’t think it’s a bad thing to keep separate money from you partner, I do think it’s a bad thing to keep secrets from your partner. You need to talk to him and explain your reasoning, so he understands. And, please note, I’m not saying you need his permission. Come on! Me? Tell you to get permission when I never ask for permission? No effing way. But, there does need to be communication around money. He doesn’t have to approve of it, but he does have to know why you do it.
When you’re still a team
This is the most important part. You can only keep separate money if you can still feel like a team. I know women who’d never feel connected to their men if their money weren’t completely combined. In that case, obvs don’t keep separate funds. But if you guys can still be together mentally and emotionally without being 100% together fiscally, do it, girl. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. Go with what you know.
Money is a deeply personal thing. Figuring it out with you partner is hard enough. So, don’t stress about doing what other people think is right in addition to the stress of making it work with him. As long as you’re comfortable, communicative and still feel like a dynamic duo with your man, you’re doing it right!