Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When Marriage Mirrors Politics

My tiny wife and I finally sat down to discuss the brass tacks of merging our finances tonight. She had a simple plan in which my money was deposited into a joint account and she took what was needed from the household and moved it to her account to pay all of our bills with. Now I trust her implicitly. But I couldn't help raise the point that there was no fairness or accountability in her system. Under her system she could be skimming money to buy designer platform shoes that she only wore at work and I'd be none the wiser. (If find that using amusing hypotheticals in really serious discussions helps to keep the tension levels lower.)

So we hammered out a system that promoted both fairness and accountability. My pay gets deposited into the joint account, she takes out a fixed amount to pay our bills with, I have a set amount of spending money per week, and everything left over gets deposited to a joint savings account. Additionally any extra expenses accrued by me that exceed my weekly budget (mostly new shoes, winter coats, software, hardware, and my son's plane tickets) are charged to my one credit card and are paid for out of the savings account at the end of the month.

I didn't make this argument because I distrust mt my wife. She's more honest than I am. But it was the principle that mattered most to me. And the fact that she came up with a plan that was both fair and accountable in the blink of an eye speaks volumes about her. After all only those who don't have your best interests in mind would argue against a just, equitable, and balanced budget.