Are you a saver or a spender? I spend more than my husband realises but never enough not to save either. I always find it really interesting how families organise their spending and savings. Recent research from Auto Europe suggests that men save more than women each year. I have a secret bank account though – do you?
That doesn’t really surprise me as men often earn more and so have a greater opportunity to save more. Hello pay gap.
This is a situation we are in as a family. We have never had joint accounts despite being together for over 20 years and married for 15. There is no real reason either it’s just the way we have done things and we like it. We have three children and have always organised our finances this way.
The household is still spilt in terms of spending and whilst my husband covers the household costs I pay for holidays and most things for the children. If the children want money they come to me. Lee doesn’t really like spending money on clothes and going out. Therefore it is better for everyone if I cover this and he doesn’t know how much weekly spending on two teenagers costs!
Separate accounts, or even having a secret bank account work for us, we can afford nice things and I won’t go without even if to others some of the spending is extravagant. We also both save so neither of us ever worry about hidden bills or rainy days. We know they are covered. I don’t know exactly what money Lee has but he doesn’t know what I have either!
Auto Europe understands how important it is for everybody to have a saving aspiration and its research suggests that people in relationships show a determined effort to save towards well-earned indulgences on their own.
From holidays to far-flung destinations without our partners to mini-breaks with our friends, it seems that time apart and away from each other is key to feeling a sense of freedom while remaining financially independent from one another.
I holiday without Lee frequently because of the blog. Self employment has afforded me opportunities to take the children away without him. I have more flexibility and make use of it. Likewise my most extravagant and expensive days out are often with my best friend. We treat ourselves to a day at Ascot and will blow the budget and I use the money in my secret bank account. But this is my treat, it makes me happy. I work hard and like to treat myself whereas Lee is not comfortable with that level of spending. Therefore it is better that I do these things with those who have a similar approach to me. I probably go away four or five times a year with friends and what I spend is down to me. I am not made to feel guilty because he doesn’t see any receipts! Likewise I spend each month on a sports massage and beauty treatments like getting my nails done.
Lee likes that his money is not ‘wasted’ on the frivolous. He doesn’t see my clothes spending habit (hello Ted Baker) going out of a joint account. Yet he likes how the children are dressed. For those that argue or believe that having separate accounts or a secret bank account shows a lack of commitment I counterclaim that it demonstrates more trust. I trust that the bills are paid and he trusts that we will holiday each year. This year at check in Lee did ask where we were going as he could not remember! When we arrived he had no idea about the resort but who cares. Not me.
I think it’s healthy to have separate accounts. There was lots said last year about the importance of women having a f*** off fund. This gives women some money of their own in a secret bank account. It can provide a safety net in times of need. Whilst my money is not for this I will encourage my own children not to put all their financial eggs in one basket. I know in terms of the law all our accounts would be lumped together and they are our family assets but for day to day living it’s good to keep it separate.
Do you have a secret bank account or just separate accounts? Do let me know in the comments your reasons.