Friday, July 12, 2013

Love and Money - Rule 61

A few weeks ago I purchased a book called 'The Rules of Love', and I have really enjoyed reading it.  I haven't quite finished, but well on the way.  I have found the book so fascinating that I have pages and pages of notes.  Things that I can improve on in my own relationship, plus general concepts that I use to spark more thought provoking conversations to learn more about all parties in the relationship.

Rule 61 was sure an interesting one, and a topical one;

'Keep your finances separate'
The author does say that there are loads of people who argue about this rule and he also says 'I've seen lots of couples argue about money - and in most cases it's contributed to break-ups - but I've never seen it happen in a relationship where the finances were separate'.
The author does say that the concept of a joint account for shared expenses is a good logistical option, and he also talks about the contribution to such not necessarily being equal depending on earnings and consumption patterns.
His concepts is that arguments are avoided as both parties can do what they like, save, invest, splurge...etc.  I did really like that his thinking which was also broad enough to cover when there was only a sole income and a partner at home with the kids, although that is not relevant to my circumstances given that my youngster is at school now.
A few rules along and 63 is;
'Be generous to each other financially'
I am a big fan of the separate finances, but I am also a big fan of this rule.  I would certainly hope that my partner feels that I am a generous one.  I do agree that 'you're in this together' and I also agree if one earns more then one should pay 'more of everything, in fact'.  I never count, split the bill or any of the other items mentioned that would supposedly lead to living your life 'as a hermit and spend your days worrying about your investments, and curl up at night in your lonely bed with a pillow stuffed with banknotes'.
I guess the challenge really becomes when one side of the equation does not want separate finances and the other does.  I thought the answer may be something like a hybrid of the above, a joint account where both contribute and agree on what comes out of there, such as holidays and living expenses.  I think that life circumstances such as divorce and blended families of children do make things tricky to work around.

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