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6 Ways To Maintain Your Independence In A Relationship

Some of you reading are in relationships where you’re dating, living together, engaged or married and ultimately at some point may have to decide how to deal with finances…..together.  But what about those of you who want to maintain your financial independence?  You may not want to mingle money or even depend on your partner for anything outside of a morning cup of joe.  If this is you then read on….

Set the stage….

The Talk. Lay out your reasons and expectations for maintaining your independence.  Couples often go wrong in this area because they don’t communicate expectations and even moreso their reasons for having such an expectation.  What do you talk about?

  • Some of us come from households where our mothers did not mingle money with our fathers/step-fathers, we didn’t quite understand why but choose to operate this way in present relationships.   Keep in mind this way of operating in relationships can breed distrust and financial infidelity.  Make sure to understand your own reasons for wanting to do this before implementing in your own relationships.
  • Fear of financial abandonment is another reason why some women choose to maintain their own financial independence.  If you’ve watched other women abandoned as a child by their partners, such as your mother, aunt or grandmother then you may be inclined to never put yourself in a situation where your partner is your only source of income.

Be sure to to have The Talk with your partner as this lays the foundation moving forward so there’s no confusion around why you want things to be this way financially.

Action…

Separate Financial Accounts

  • Bank accounts
  • Household Bills
  • Stocks/Bonds/IRAs
  • Utilities

Separate everything get them in your own name, both names shouldn’t be on any account unless it’s your lease or mortgage.  If he earns 100k and you earn 50k or vice versa then make sure that the obligations are split equitably.

Split Every Financial Obligation Down The Middle

This includes shopping, eating out, gifts and anything outside of routine monthly obligation. In other words?  Go dutch all day every day.

Save For Maternity Leave

Write it down, save towards how much money you will collectively need when baby arrives (typically 6-12 weeks). Make sure that your name is on this account and that all important transactions need your approval before being completed.  Your best bet is to to have this account in your name only if you are in a situation where you and your partner are not on the most solid financial ground.  <—Real talk.

Get Your Own Stash.  Mad Money.  Eff You Money.

If you’re a stay at home mom/wife and concerned about your situation or for whatever reason you need a stash of your own money then you might want to start stacking your stash for a rainy day.  Sometimes we call this mad money or eff you money.  I know that some may be in situations where your partners or husbands think you can’t leave unless you have money and since all money comes from them then that may be difficult.  Get a part time job or just get a personal account that he doesn’t have access to and start saving towards your goal.  This can be money you use personally for shopping, helping family with certain obligations or money you plan to use to leave a bad situation.  Whatever it is, do what you need to do so that you’re not stuck in a situation where you’re living hand to mouth with your partner.

Remain Staunchly Independent

This means through every financial event, you pay your way and do your part.  Part of financial independence for some women is knowing that they aren’t being a financial “burden” in their relationship and puling their weight.  There’s something about knowing that with or without your partner you can hold your own and hey it’s an aphrodisiac for many women.

What are your thoughts?  Are there any other ways a woman can maintain her financial independence in a relationship?

I will admit that this post was a bit difficult to write since it goes against how I operate in my own marriage as it relates to finances.  My belief has always been that if you can’t mingle your credit or finances with your partner then you should rethink being with them until you can trust them in this area.  Finances are a huge part of any intimate relationship and I just think things can get complicated quick if trust issues abound.   But I understand that some are in situations where they need and must maintain their independence.

Let me know what you think in the comments area!

  • Pete

    Great post! Really good insight. It's always difficult to discuss finances and share money in relationships. Thanks for your advice. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I stumbled upon yours. I think they offer some good points and laughter about the topic: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/d

    Thanks for the post! I'd like to see more like it.

  • http://www.moneymonk.net Moneymonk

    I'm sorry but being a stay at home mom is not a good move if you want to have money

    They are several women that made that move and 20yrs later hubby want someone else and they are stuck in a 1 bedroom apt looking for alimoney …sad

    They cannot get a social security check b/c they have no contributions in the system.

  • http://thenonstudent.blogspot.com The Non-Student

    This is so important. My best friend is going through a divorce and having to learn a lot of this all of a sudden. Women aren't encouraged to think about finances generally, and that's one of the worst things we can neglect. Thank you for writing this important post.

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