Marriage & The Money Meld

Common Potters. Independent Operators. Sometime Sharers.

When it comes to how they merge–or don’t merge–their money, every married couple falls into one of these three buckets, says Jessica Grose in today’s issue of Slate. In the first in a 5-part series about how couples today manage their money, Jess, newly married, sets out to find the right path for her and her husband Mike.

She embarked on the story after her wedding, when she suddenly she felt the “urge to merge” finances. Rather than just do it, or talk to friends about it, she opted for the journalist tack, and reported it out. First, she put up a survey on Slate and  a staggering 5,858 people responded. For those who think living together and marriage are roughly the same thing–you know, same commitment, just no ceremony–think again: In Jess’ survey, she found that 48% of married couples pool their resources, vs. 9% of unmarried couples who live together.

She weaves the numbers in with personal stories of “common potters”–those who share it all, “independent operators,” who share nothing, and the “sometimes sharers,” who are a blend of the two.

Since my husband and I share some but not all our money, I found the other two categories fascinating. How could people in this day and age share everything? Have they seen the divorce rate? And what was up with those who didn’t trust each other enough to share anything?

At the end of the series, Jess will tell us what she and her husband decided to do–and if anything changes in my house, I’ll let you know.

Posted in finances

3 Responses to Marriage & The Money Meld

  1. Vi says:

    Yep! I saw that feature in Slate today & I also remember responding to the survey in the fall.

    I fall in to the common potters category. My DH and I shared our finances completely when we moved in together, even before we got married. It works for us beautifully. I don’t think we’ve ever fought about money.

  2. If there are kids involved, it makes more sense to be common potters, I think.

  3. jinkies says:

    My husband and I are also “Common Potters”. I looked forward to sharing everything with my husband when I got married, including our finances. I can’t imagine not sharing the money. My brother and his wife are “Independent Operators” and it makes me fearful for them…

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