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?
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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