Before my parents divorced, my father found out about a secret bank account that my mother had the entire length of their marriage. He felt betrayed, but my mother didn’t care and said she’d do it all again. She advised me always to keep a stash — money that no one knew about but me and to never tie up my money with anyone else’s, no matter how much I loved them.
Her advice so many decades ago haunts me in my romantic relationships as an adult woman. My current boyfriend and I have been dating and in a committed relationship for close to four years. He’s very fiscally responsible, and I admit I’m much more of a spender than him. He’s been a firefighter for years and doesn’t make a ton of money, but he has much more padded savings than me, and I make considerably more than him.
He always tells me that it’s not what’s coming in, it’s what’s going out. I find myself hiding shopping bags in my car and doing other little shady things to avoid arguments or ‘talks’ about my spending habits.
Recently, we decided to find a house to rent and move in together. But before we join dwellings, my man wants to join bank accounts. Whoa! My mother’s voice began ringing in my head, with her advice coming back to me in full force, full circle.
Not only does he want to join bank accounts, he wants to sit down and do a full disclosure meeting with the two of us regarding our finances. His intention is to put me on a budget that will lend to me increasing my assets and savings. My thoughts are that if I wanted a financial advisor, I would hire one. I don’t need him to be trying to control me or what I spend, how I spend it. Even though his heart is in the right place, it really does rub me the wrong way whenever he approaches me wanting to talk about ‘our’ money.
Am I being financially immature? Should I join forces and bank accounts with my boyfriend, or should I hold true to my financial individualism and keep my account separate?
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