// you’re reading...

MX Columns

mX Column: Money Matters

It’s the last few days now of Febusave. More frightening than Febfast (cutting out alcohol), Febusave is an initiative set up by the ANZ Bank to encourage women to pay better attention to their finances. I rallied, and decided it was time I started taking an active role in looking after my own financial situation.

You see, I hate financials. Most of my life, I’ve taken a head-in-the-sand approach to my money. I don’t pay attention to my bank balance, have been of the belief that saving is about as exciting as rearranging my sock drawer and have not exactly been stringent about paying my bills on time.

Funnily enough, I’m fantastic at spending money. If it were an Olympic sport, you would’ve seen me on a podium at Beijing for sure.

I’m also a little ashamed to admit that once Den and I became engaged, I happily relinquished all money matters over to him. Yep – I was one of those women that was just waiting for a man to take over for her.

What’s scary is that up to 50% of all divorce cases cite money issues as the deal-breaker. Most couples will argue about money at some stage and if it’s not dealt with, it can become a serious stressor on the relationship.

It’s not necessarily that these couples don’t have enough money, it’s different approaches to money that causes the problems.

For instance, I’m from the “money is for enjoying” school of thought. And I’m probably more extremist than most about it.

Den, meanwhile, is all about the very sensible “money is for security” philosophy.

(For all those playing at home, if neither of these sounds like you, there is a third category which is “money is for sharing” that you may fall into).

Unfortunately the reality of relationships means that you have to talk about money at some point, and maybe even come clean about your huge credit card debt or your secret shoe fetish.

Setting a budget as a couple and laying some ground rules for financial spending is mandatory. I also believe that having some personal play money – that the other partner can’t keep track of – is necessary.

For now, Den and I take a fairly separate approach to our finances. No joint account, no questions over spending – apart from the occasional, accusatory “Is that new?” from him when I sport a top he’s never seen… (“What, this old thing?”). But we are across what is going on financially for the other person and the communication helps.

But what makes him (and me) most comfortable now is knowing I’m putting money away and paying myself first, and I’m committed to keep saving and to maintain an active interest in our family finances.

It was about time I grew up. What about you?

Related Posts

Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

2 comments for “mX Column: Money Matters”

  1. Posted by Year on the Grill | March 1, 2010, 8:17 am

    It indeed is a good thing for you to know all and share all.

    once I retired, and we combined everything, it became very clear how we were at opposite financial goals. Our life would have been so much easier if we had read your post 20 years ago

  2. Posted by Who Lies About Money? | $30 date night | Date Ideas, Marriage & Romance Blog | February 25, 2011, 1:10 pm

    [...] spoken before about how financially retarded I can be. And yes, I’m one of those people from the graphic below that “Hide [...]

Post a comment