Married with Freedom asks London A: Who is financially correct?

Dear London A: I need your help to settle a debate I am constantly having with my friends. My girlfriends and I are all married. When we have girl’s night out, we somehow always get in a discussion about how marital finances should be divided in the household. All of our situations are different. My husband and I pay bills and run our finances with both of our incomes. We feel combining our incomes maximizes the kind of life we can afford and give us more freedom. One of my friends, “Lisa”, takes the hands-off approach. Her salary is deposited into an account that is only controlled by her husband. She thinks the less she knows the better. She just wants spending money; which is also controlled by her husband.  My other friend, “Amber”, chooses to only live off her husband’s salary and her salary is saved and never touched unless it’s an emergency. She feels if they can’t afford it with her husband’s salary, they don’t need it. I know it’s none of my business, but when we hang out both of them are always restricted, one way or another, by what we can do; since Lisa needs permission and Amber is on a strict budget. I love my friends, but I appreciate the financial freedom I have in my marriage. Lisa thinks my way will lead to unnecessary arguments with my husband. However, Amber is convinced my husband and I are spending our way straight to the poor-house. So who is right? Sincerely, Married with Freedom

Dear Married with Freedom: You are right about one thing, it is none of your business how two people married to each other conduct their finances. Who’s to say your way is right or wrong? The only right way to divvy up the finances between a married couple is whatever way they mutually agree upon. I am sure you and your husband mutually decided what was going to be included and excluded in the definition of your marriage; and I gather it is working great for you. Let these women live their married lives. Who are you to judge? I am saying this to you, but you can relay the message to your two girlfriends when they start judging you about your life. Friendship is about respecting and supporting each other’s decisions in life, even if you don’t agree with their decisions. There is nothing wrong with a healthy debate of differences, but don’t let judgment creep in. Don’t get offended when your girls night outings are altered because of what you think are financial limitations. Your friends just don’t roll like you do and that’s ok; because you don’t roll like they do. Respect all of your differences and focus on the time spent, not the money spent… well, ‘saved’ in Amber’s case. Smooches!

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