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When we married DH was a student so financially dependent on me. In nearly 18 years of marriage there have only been 18 months where we have earned roughly the same. We have always had joint accounts and as I do DH's tax return for him he can't hide his money from me.
I do think it is important to have some independent funds ... but I'm thinking of hundreds rather than thousands ... and I can't imagine the existence of these accounts ever being a secret from a partner because of the marriage vows as mentioned before ...
We have a 'pocket money' account each ... once upon a time we got £20 a month, in times of financial hardship that went down to £5 but is now back up to £10 ... the amount doesn't really matter and in fact the accounts get raided when the current account is running short. I have access to those because they are branches out from my current acc so there are times when I tell Martin that we were running short so I've taken X amount from each of our accounts to feed the current acc! The accounts are used for exactly what Corris (I think!) said about the £100 snooker cue or pair of jeans ....
Another reason is to enable people to be individuals and, yes, to have secrets from each other ... My friend's husband once read through a credit card bill whilst she was at work, spotted a big payment to a company he didn't recognise and phoned the credit card company to query it .... He then phones the company that had been paid ... My friend had booked a Hot Air Balloon trip for his birthday as a surprise, with both sets of parents and her husband's brothers paying in to fund it ... Thsi rather spoilt the surprise and really upset my friend who had been planning it for him.
I think an 'emergency fund' is an excellent idea ... it doesn't have to be considered an exit strategy or a premonition of the relationship ending ... The family I nannied for had a child go through cancer treatment and the daughter and one parent ended up living in another country for 8 months whilst she was treated ... I'm sure there was some insurance money etc, involved, and this being the family that I nannied for the finances were less of a worry than they would be for other families, but I still take it as a reason for having a savings pot for 'the unexpected'.
No GS, it's only my OH that is daft enough to pay £100 for a snooker cue.
I bet your friends husband was mortifed when he realised he'd ruined his own surprise! Wasn't she awfully cross with him about it? I know I would have been.
Friend was really really upset, husband was pretty nonchalant and more angry that he'd made a twit of himself with the credit card company ...
Wonder if they have now got 'pocket money accounts' or at least separate credit card accounts? I'll have to ask her in the summer!
We have a joint credit card that's paid off at the end of each month. I don't think DH looks at the statements, mainly because he rarely uses it. Also because it's not good for his blood pressure to see how much Olly's school uniform costs these days!
I was talking to my mum about this over the weekend and she still vehemently believes a woman should always keep a little something aside. She disapproves hugely that DH knows about my rainy-day fund, saying that if he knows about it he could always try and access it. IThe difference with mum is that she's been burned - financially speaking - in the past by an ex, and it makes her incredibly mistrustful of all men. It's kind of sad, because her new DH is a nice old chap, and worships the ground she walks on, yet even now they're married she's sort of holding out on him a little. In fact, that's an idea for a thread, because she says marriages are never equal, that one person always loves more. Off to start a thread.
I used to know what hubby earned, but at the moment it's all still new and variable. G however hasn't a clue what goes into the account I use, yet it's a joint one
I find it strange that married couples should even consider keeping financial secrets.