If you’re married, or about to be, I have a question for you. Do you have money in your own name?
Even if you’re blissfully in love with each other, even if (s)he’s filthy rich or a financial genius, it’s critical to have your own economic identity–a bank account and credit card in your own name.
In part, it’s a matter of self-protection. If anything happens to your Prince(ss) Charming, you could be in big trouble.
Oh, the horror stories I’ve heard from women who couldn’t get credit or had all kinds of legal problems after losing a spouse through death or divorce because everything was listed under their spouse’s name.
Also, since money is the #1 source of marital spats, having separate accounts could bring more harmony into your relationship. As Stephanie Sarkis pointed out in Psychology Today, “the less you argue about money, the closer you will feel to your partner.”
But there’s also a psychological component. A separate financial identity, even while maintaining shared accounts, makes a major personal statement.
It has nothing to do with the relationship. It has everything to do with your self-concept and sense of autonomy.
Putting money in your name is about growing up, becoming an adult, claiming your sovereignty over your own life.
Is money a source of strife or harmony in your relationship? Leave me a comment below.