walkitout (walkitout) wrote,


I read Pepper Schwartz' book years ago (and several other books about equality in intimate relationships, altho at that time I was only interested in the adult relationship, not the parenting aspect) when I was trying to understand how couples managed money. I knew I couldn't stand the way my parents did things (my dad made the money so it was his money and my mother got an allowance -- and it took years for her to have a credit card or access to the bank accounts or anything), and I divorced my first husband after trying a variety of other things. (Shopping addiction is an ugly, ugly thing, and I am not a patient person.)

In the end, I adopted a, hey, my money is my money, your money is your money and I'm happy to discuss who pays for any given thing. I did not see any obvious reason to change this when I got married a second time and shared expenses like rent when we were in Seattle for a year and a half or the mortgage now present an interesting special case of an expense that is genuinely shared and big enough to not just disappear in the haze of consumer spending. We're still treating it as a special case, which is why whenever I read a sentence like this:

"And while Jim made more money than Michelle...he would not have more say over how the family spent money."

I have to think for a moment, because in my world, families don't spend money. Individual members of the family spend money -- often on things for the family -- but the family doesn't actually exist as a financial unit around me. Then I remember, oh, yeah, in _this_ family, purchasing and other money decisions are constrained not by money. They are constrained by other things: where do we want to live, what kind of vacation are we all prepared to attempt, how much plastic crap do we want to have in the house, is R. willing to replace the couch yet, etc. So while Jim making more money doesn't mean he gets a veto on how the family spends money, me having more money doesn't mean I get to buy whatever the hell I feel like buying.

Reasonable. And the summary is good: "all important decisions must be arrived at together".
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