Becoming debt free #4

Who knew the journey of becoming debt free would get so personal? Y’all ready?

When I posted part 3, I shared about how my wife and I had made the decision to separate our bank accounts. Today, I’m gonna provide a bit more context and also share some progress that we’ve made since then.

My wife and I got married last summer; however, we shared a checking account prior to that. I’ve always been the frugal saver and she’s always been the free spirit. Opposites attract, right?

When it came to finances, our differences became a point of contention.

The decision to split bank accounts was a resolution made after an argument we had in the parking lot of a Sushi King. We came to the realization that I valued becoming debt free a lot whereas Rachel valued having flexibility in spending. She voiced some resentment about my large student loan debt and boom 💣💥🌋🚨

My fierce independence kicked in. It seemed a logical solution to have separate accounts and to just split our shared bills 50/50. Then I’d use my part-time Lyft/Uber income to pay off my student loans. She could do what she wanted with her extra money. Win-win, right?


Little did I know that our “logical plan” would result in me becoming resentful towards Rachel. Rachel was fortunate to enter the marriage with no student loan debt whereas I had a lot. Our new plan to manage split accounts made me 100% responsible for paying off my student loans (see part 3 for the tire screeching amounts). My extra money went to debt while she could paint the town red with her extra money.

And she did…

Long story short, Rachel took her newfound flexibility with her separate account and went a little wild. Shopping sprees for new clothes and a new iPhone XS, even though we just got iPhone 8s in March…

A synopsis of how that turned out

  • More arguments
  • Me feeling hurt that I work an extra 20 hrs at a part-time to pay off debt while she gets so much flexibility
  • Splitting everything 50/50 made us feel like hostile roommates, not married people.
  • I felt unsupported in my goal to be debt free.
  • Rachel admits that the iPhone was a foolish purchase and selfish on her part
  • Rachel feels guilty and suffers from buyers remorse
  • See where this is going?

The resolution

Earlier this week, Rachel treated me to dinner at the same Sushi King where the initial argument occurred. We agreed that we like the flexibility of separate accounts; however, the 50/50 arrangement isn’t fair.

She offered to pay 100% of our rent out of her account so that I can put my half (~$508/mo) towards my debt each month.

I’m stubborn, so it took me a few hours to accept her offer; however, I’m glad I did. No, it’s not 50/50, but neither is life.

The moral(s) & conclusion

  • We learned that disagreements are an opportunity to grow
  • We learned how to communicate better
  • We learned that we can change something that’s not working and to expect more changes down the road
  • We discovered some of our weaknesses and strengths
  • We are better off for having gone through this challenging time. There’s more harmony and love in our relationship.

Thank you for reading! Is there something in this post that stood out to you? Let’s discuss relationships and money in the comments ⤵️


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~~I also just finished reading Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, a memoir by Piper Kerman. Check out my 25-word book review.

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***Each post features a music video that is usually random and seldom relates to the aforementioned topic. I love music and share it as a form of expression. May contain bad words. Enjoy!

13 thoughts on “Becoming debt free #4

  1. Johnzelle, thank you for the personal article. There are many of us who have gone through the same marriage issues. I’m glad you and Rachel are now on the same page and working toward shared goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this! One of these days we will have to meet up and do a double date 😅. I am similar to you, as I more about saving and making smart purchases. Student Loans and credit cards are killer and it’s a monkey I would rather not have on my back. The way our finances work, we have separate savings/checking accounts and one shared account for household maintenance (bills, groceries, and occasional amusement). It used to be our vacation fund until we started living together. That has worked for us for the past 6 or so years. Sure, I may still give the side-eye when I see a couple of new video games 😏, but it’s definitely less stressful. I’m glad you both were able to come up with something that works!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story. Marriage is about teamwork, and teamwork is not necessarily 50:50. It’s about working together to achieve a goal. Sometimes that means someone having to do more than their share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad to read you and your wife are working on achieving the same goals. I can see how the 50/50 didn’t work as well fo you guys, with your student loan debt. My husband I started off with separate accounts too, we each paid off our student loans separately and co paid the bills, except rent which was paid by his housing allowance. But since starting a family and relocating overseas on military orders it’s now all down to one. You will figure out what works best for both of you. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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