The other day my dad and I were discussing the post in which I mentioned the ridiculous amount of money I spend at restaurants. He didn't think it was too bad, he said, for two people. When I explained to him that Chris and I still split the bill at restaurants, he seemed shocked. Honestly, this is a pretty common reaction, but I still don't understand why. Yes we are engaged. Yes we bought a house together. But we are still keeping our money separate.
I have always been a big proponent of separate finances. Even when we first started dating I didn't want Chris paying for me when we went out. It is an antiquated and unnecessary tradition. There was (and is) no need for him to prove that he is able to provide for me financially. I am perfectly capable of providing for myself. Why should he be constantly strapped for cash when I am entirely able to pay for myself?
A lot of people thought that I would change my mind, that surely we would combine our money when we bought a house. I can proudly tell you that I did not. We created a joint bank account into which we each deposit money to cover our joint expenses. The rest of our money is individually ours to do with as we'd like with it. I generally save mine while Chris likes to spend his on Magic cards and 40k miniatures. But you see, that's the beauty of our system - he is more than welcome to burn through all of his money if he pleases. It is his money. If we had combined all of our money, we'd have to jointly decide if Magic cards were something that we wanted to buy - and I can assure you that they never would be.
The only problem we've encountered so far with our system is unforeseen expenses. For example, our dryer broke a few days after we bought the house. Because our joint account only has money for our monthly bills, we could not use it to buy a dryer. And since Chris doesn't really save much of his money, he didn't have have the cash either. So I had to buy the dryer with my own personally money. Not exactly a fair division of expenses. The only way I can see to fix this would be to add an "emergency fund" column into the budget, but I am not exactly sure what amount would be best.
Some people still think that I will change my mind when we get married, but I am almost certain that I will not. I've had people react rather angrily to my feelings on this subject, seeming to think that it shows a lack of trust and a refusal to fully "join together" with the man that I claim to love. Quite frankly, I don't care what those people think. I do love him and I will marry him. That doesn't mean I cease to be an individual person, and neither does he. Chris and I will do what is best for us, whether it goes against the norm or not.