Don’t Lose Your True Identity, Because You’re Too Focused on who you think the world wants you to be

Good morning. Today I want to talk about something that breaks up more marriages than infidelity and anything else you can possibly imagine, and that’s money. Money is literally the root of all evil, and we all know that. So what brings this topic to my mind is, this morning I was listening to a radio show on the way to drop kids off at school, and there was a question that came in on Facebook on this radio show from a couple, from a wife of a couple, who … They had just filed their taxes, he’s not getting a tax return and she is getting a tax return, and he wants to split the return with her, and she’s like “Nope. It’s my money.” How do you and your spouse handle money in your household? 

I feel like growing up, I had a certain interpretation of how money was dealt with, and I feel like everybody … well, later on in life I’ve learned that everyone deals with money differently. And really, it’s interesting to think that other people, that everybody has a different way of doing things. So in my marriage, originally we kept money in our separate bank accounts. We each paid part of the bills, I was responsible for the mortgage and a few other things, and we tried to split the money down the middle so we were responsible for equal amounts of things. But, as far as the dollars go, but overall, like we could kind of pay it as we needed to. So …

Good morning. On my mind today is something that breaks up more marriage than infidelity and anything else you can possibly imagine. What is it? Money. So it’s fresh on my mind because I’m listening to a radio show this morning on the way to drop my kids off at school, and there’s this gal who messages on Facebook and asks some advice. So she’s getting a tax refund back and he’s not getting a tax refund. They apparently filed separately, which maybe people file separately, I’ve never done that before. So maybe there’s benefits to that. But they filed separately, he’s not getting a return, she is. And he’s upset about it. He wants half the money. And she’s like “Nope, he ain’t getting half of my money.”

So I’m curious how you deal with money in your household, because for me, that seems a little bit odd. But for some people maybe it’s not. So I’m guessing maybe he runs a business, maybe she works a day job and she paid into taxes all year, he didn’t pay enough taxes. That’s my guess. So when it comes to taxes at the end of the year, how do you do it? Do you file separately, do you file jointly? When the money comes, how does it work? Do you split the money down the middle? Do you get to buy something for her, something for you? I’m curious, because when I grew up, I saw taxes, I saw money being spent one way, where my parents were … I remember my dad paid for the rent, for the house, whatever it is, rent, mortgage, and then my mom paid for the food and for utilities. And so from what I saw, it was a pretty fair share. You know, it was split down the middle dollar-wise. And that’s kind of how I’ve done it most of my marriage.

There was a time when we decided to join money, and that was a big disaster, ’cause for me, I run a business, and having money, a lot of times for me I’d put money into the account and have it sitting there, like to spread out. ‘Cause with my business in video production, it’s feast or famine. So sometimes I’ll get, some months I make a lot of money, some months I make zero. And so it’s important to make sure the money’s spread out. And so there’s times where I have money sitting in there that’s not mine, you know, that’s got to pay out to subcontractors or to myself, you know, three months, six months down the road. And my wife, you know, she just … not that she went on like spending sprees or anything, but she would see it and think “Oh, okay, I can pay this bill.”

And for me it was the same thing, where I would see money in there that was hers, and I would like swipe a card to go buy something, and then the next thing you know, something that she expected to come out of the account goes negative because I didn’t … I didn’t understand what was going on and she didn’t understand what was going on. So it really caused more problems than it was worth. So we went back to our old ways, and we started back again where I was responsible for the house. So whether it be the rent, I guess it was the mortgage, we’ve always had a mortgage. But I’ve always been responsible for the mortgage and the phone bill and a couple other small things, and then she’s responsible for the food and utilities and whatnot.

So for the most part it ends up splitting pretty close to down the middle. Sometimes it’s a little bit weighted to one side or the other, depending on what time of the year it is and utilities and things like that. But for the most part it’s been pretty even. So I’m curious what benefits you’ve seen in your own lives, whether it be splitting it down the middle, like do you pay for certain things? Or do you have the, do you put the money into one account? I think you can be successful with either, but it’s interesting that people feel so strongly about their one opinion. And I think there’s more than one opinion, I think it’s kind of cool.

So when it comes to taxes, though, so at the end of the year, the taxes come or they don’t come. Maybe you’re paying a little bit. How does that work? Do you split that down the middle? Do you … you know, like my sister, for instance, she goes and buys, usually every year, they’ll trade up cars. So they’ll sell their old car and trade up and buy a newer car, slightly better, and that way they’re always moving up, onward and upward. And I think that’s a really smart idea. So for us, a lot of times it’s, there have been a couple times we’ve bought appliances. Like we needed a new fridge one year, or washer and dryer, we bought a set five or six years ago.

But I know some people use it to go on vacation. So what do you use yours to go on, what do you spend your money on? Is it something, do you reinvest it? But I’m just really curious. I’ve never thought about money like this until that one question today. So kind of interesting, but let me know what you think in the comments, and happy to take any suggestion.

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