First Person: 'His and Hers' Finances Work for Us

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When I tell people about how we handle finances in my home they are usually shocked. It is frowned upon to not have everything be "ours" when you are with someone. The whole "ours" category just doesn't work for us. In fact, it probably won't for at least another 5 years. This is how we handle finances in my household and the reasons behind it.

Hers

I have my own bills, but I also contribute to housing costs and bills. I work as a freelancer and I am paid differently than most. I don't get a "standard check" so most of my contributions come through a debit card. My responsibilities include the Internet bill and my credit cards. After those are paid, anything my son needs, like diapers, come out of my pocket. I control where the money I earn goes, and am pretty content with how things are run.

His

My boyfriend works a typical job and gets a standard bi-weekly paycheck. He is responsible for the rent, his car insurance, electric, and phone bill. Most of the bills are on his plate because he makes almost quadruple what I do in a month. He also has other obligations including making payments on his divorce and his bankruptcy. Once he completely pays off his debts, we can start to build things together instead of separate. It looks like he will have another 3 years until everything is clear, and then he can begin the rebuilding process.

Why there is no "ours"

There has never really been an "ours" when it comes to money. We had a checking account that we closed up, but that was the extent of it. I like keeping things separate for the most part. We are not married, and I don't believe I should have to ask to spend money I rightfully earned. The main reason I like to keep things divided is because of the personal problems he is dealing with with bankruptcy. I don't want his poor decisions prior to meeting me affecting my credit standing, or chance losing the ability to get a mortgage when the time comes.

I have to keep my financial future in mind when making decisions, especially since I have young children. The way things work within our household is ideal for our situation. We do our best to lower monthly bills and find deals on items we need. Until his bankruptcy is cleared up, this will be the system we use.

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