“So after we get married, whose bank are we going to use?”
Whose bank are we going to use? Not only do Kyle and I have two separate checking accounts, we have two separate banks. For now. Word on the street is that “married people” have this saying- “It’s not MY money, it’s OUR money.”
Right. But, technically, it is still my money, right?
“Uh…” To say that I hadn’t thought about it would be a lie. I’d thought about it. Of course I’d thought about it. “Mine…” I suggested, “I guess?”
Not like it matters. Eventually he’s going to see how much money I spend on make-up and hair products. Where the bank statement comes from doesn’t really matter.
“But here’s the thing,” I said – because I have nothing to hide – “Maybe we should still have separate accounts. Like, we can have a joint account – you know, for bills and groceries, but then we’ll each have our own SEPARATE account too… for, other things. You know, personal things.”
“Personal” things. I sound like a fifteen year old girl who’s embarrassed that she has to buy tampons. This man is going to be my husband. What could I possibly have to hide from him?
Besides the fact that if he saw a $130 charge to Sephora pop up on our “shared bank statement”, he’d probably have some questions. Like “Why did you spend $130 at Sephora? Isn’t that a make-up store?” And when I say “I needed some moisturizer”, he’s going to ask me why I need moisturizer that costs $130 and “can’t you find something cheaper?” and when I say “but this is the Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior moisturizer with retinol”, he’ll ask “So? Don’t they sell moisturizer at Walmart?” and then he’s going to try to make me buy the moisturizer at Walmart.
You guys. I can’t start buying my moisturizer at Walmart. It may have worked for me when I was a teenager, but I’m thirty now. I need the hard stuff.
“Alright…” Kyle said. “Well what if we have a joint account, but there’s a spending limit. So, we can buy whatever we want – but if one of us wants to spend more than… say, a hundred dollars, we have to talk to the other one first.”
A hundred dollars? I spent $147 at Abercrombie yesterday just on pants. They were having a sale! $147 was a great deal!
“So…” Look at him, trying to compromise. I had to hand to him – he was trying to do this marriage thing right and get us started off on the right foot. He just didn’t realize that $100 is basically a trip to Target. “If I want to buy something that costs more than a hundred dollars…” I ventured. “I have to… ask you first?”
“No, not ‘ask’. We’ll just talk about it.” He said. “Like, we’ll explain why we want to buy whatever it is.”
‘Explain’. So I’m going to have to start ‘explaining’ my trips to Target (my worst nightmare) – ‘I came in here for toilet paper and then I just HAD to buy this blanket, look it isn’t cute? And the tank tops were ON SALE! And then I remembered we needed a new coffee pot, so I bought one of those – and look, mugs! This one looks JUST LIKE the ones at Anthropologie! And then… well, then I had to buy toilet paper. So. That’s why it’s over a hundred dollars. It was the toilet paper.’
He’s going to divorce me before we even get married.
“What if it’s moisturizer?” I asked.
“Moisturizer?” He looked genuinely confused. “You spend more than a hundred dollars on MOISTURIZER?”
“Or clothes.” I suddenly realized. This was giving me anxiety. Am I going to have to come up with some “reason” every time I want to buy new clothes? “Or make-up?”
“Why are you spending over a hundred dollars on make-up?” He asked. I can tell that he’s finding this to be a truly horrifying exercise in the future of our financial planning. To be honest, so was I.
And I don’t want you to get the wrong impression of me – I am not one of these spend-y, willy nilly, can’t-pay-her-bills-because-she-maxed-out-all-of-her-credit-cards type of girls. I pay ALL of my bills. On time. Every month. Even my outlandish student loans. I buy my own groceries, I pay my own rent, I’ve never maxed out a credit card in my entire life, and I have an irrational fear of debt collectors and “ruining my credit score.”
With that being said – my moisturizer costs $100. And I don’t feel guilty about it because it makes my face look like less of a thirty year old face.
But try explaining that to Kyle every time I have to buy it. For the rest of my life. Twice a year or so, I’ll have to come to him and say “Well, it’s time to buy the moisturizer again.”
I considered the last thing I bought that was over $100. A Coach purse at the outlet mall for $115. It barely made the cut-off, but if we were married – this is one of those purchases I’d have to “explain” to Kyle. And he’d probably be annoying and ask something totally reasonable like, “Why did you need to buy a new purse?”, and then if I tell him the truth I’d have to say something dumb like, “Because it was white” and he’s going to say “Why did you need a white purse?” and I’ll say “Because white is more summer-y” and he’ll say “What?” and I’ll have to explain the ‘seasonal colors’ to him –
Or maybe I’ll just cut a hole in my purse every time I want to buy a new one. I think that’s what I’m going to have to do.
“What if we just made the ‘limit’ a little higher?” I suggested. “Like… maybe four hundred?” That seems safe. If I spend over $400 on clothes and moisturizer, then there really is a problem. Then I really should be talking to my husband.
To be fair – I get where he’s coming from, and I respect what he’s trying to do. The two of us really should be trying to save and build up our retirement funds and our “future house” fund and – eventually – our “future kid” fund. If nothing else, we could at least spend it on some tropical vacation instead of… clothes and stuff.
But then of course I’d have to buy clothes for the vacation. And if you’ve ever wanted to feel stupid about what you believe in – try explaining to your husband why you need to spend $100 on a dress “for vacation” that will probably spend the entire trip in your suitcase because your husband knows you well enough to know that you’ll probably wear the same pair of leggings every day of the trip.
This marriage thing is going to be fun.