Romance and Finance

Relationship Growing Pains - Dolla Dolla Bill$ ya'll


Le Dude and I were strolling along through LeChiChi SuperMarket a few days ago. I was picking up a few things for myself and BougieMom and he was pretending like grocery shopping was interesting. I had just tossed tricolor whole grain pasta into the cart when he asked, "Do you even look at the prices of the things you buy?"

Only half paying attention, I shrugged. "I pretty much know what everything costs." On the next aisle over, he asked again. "So do you have an idea of what you're going to spend before you come in the store?"

Now suspecting that it's part of a bigger conversation, I paused in front of the greek yogurt and looked at him. "Always. Plus I keep a running tally in m head as I shop. Are you buying these groceries or am I?"

"Hey, don't go there with it - I'm just trying to figure out your fiscal ideology."

"My fiscal ideology?"

"Yeah. Are you a saver, a spender, do you budget, have long-term financial plans... that kind of thing."

"All of the above. I save, I spend, I always have a budget whether I adhere to it or not, I have both short and long term financial plans."

He nodded and frowned at the same time, "Do you have stocks, bond, a money market-"

I cut him off, "Hold up. What is this?"

"I'm trying to see how financially compatible we are."

"Interesting that was not worrying you when I was buying food by the platterful with which to nourish you and your boys. But anyway, I would think you've been around me enough and are observant enough that you've figured out I tend not play when it comes to money."

"I know but I think you should put yourself on an allowance."

"An allowance? I'm on a budget. I know what percentage of every penny that comes in is going where. Mint.com and Pageonce.com have me set. That seems plenty. Why?"

"Well I'm just looking down the line. You could write full-time and I would give you an allowance to play with."

Blinkety-blinkety-blink. "One, you are looking way further down the line than I'm looking. Two, I'll get back to writing full-time eventually no matter what. Three, an allowance to play with? That's discussion worthy. An allowance between grown folks only works if both parties agree to the amount and if the giver isn't all up in the receiver's grocery cart asking how much they spent on the pasta."

"Realistically if it's my money and-"

"An allowance only works if both parties think of it as community money. Once you start getting into my money and your money, things get ugly. I'm grown. I've been making my own money for over a decade and a half. There is no scenario in which I'm cool with someone, anyone asking me about how I spent the grocery money. None."

"There are some things you are stubborn about for no good reason."

"There are many things I'm determined about for lots of great reasons."

"It's not like I'd be up in your bank account figuring out what you spend on shoes."

"Why would you need access to my bank account?"

"What happened to the community money?"

"Oh, that would be in the community bank account."

"I'm in banking and you wouldn't trust me to handle the money?"

"You could be the Treasury Secretary and I'd still want a separate account."

He had his hands on his hps and looked down at me with confusion. I had my arms crossed and looked up at him with all level of "What?" across my face. "Let's get what we came for and go." He suggested.

"Yes let's."

BougieLand. What's the thinking on community money and allowances? For my married/cohab folks - who holds the purse strings? For everybody, do you have a financial ideology? How important is that your financial philosophy match your s/o's?