Our Pittsburgh Family Law Firm wishes you luck as you head out the door today (some of you at 4:00 a.m.!) to find the best Black Friday deals out there. For those of you who plan out your Black Friday shopping trip months in advance, the financial aspect of going on a gigantic shopping spree has to be taken into account. Our blog today discusses the different ways that married couples can manage their finances. There is no “one-size-fits-all” in this department, however, because the decision on how to spend your marital funds, whether on a new car, a new house, or on those amazing sale items on Black Friday, can be approached in many different ways.
Slate.com author Jessica Gross recently wrote an article entitled “Yours. Mine.” which designates three different types of married couples based on how their marital finances are handled. These categories were cleverly nicknamed “The Common Potters,” “The Sometimes Sharers,” and “The Independent Operators.”
In Gross’ article, “Common Potters” were those married couples who combine their finances. This “everything is ours” approach really works for some couples, as everything is simply combined into one big “pot.” Things like grocery shopping and paying bills are less stressful for this type of married couple, as all money is taken from their joint accounts. Gross’ article claims that the longer couples are together, the more likely they are to become “Common Potters.” Which makes sense, as continued growth and trust in a relationship will allow for more trust in the financial department as well.
“Independent Operators” are more likely to be younger couples, or couples that have been together for shorter periods of time. These couples keep everything separate from one another and simply maintain their own accounts as they were before marriage. Gross’ article claims that the longer couples are together, the less likely they are to be Independent Operators. The reason why this type of couple is common among young and new marriages is that sometimes it becomes difficult to combine finances when each person has been maintaining their own separate finances for a long time.
“Sometimes Sharers” are those couples that sometimes share money, typically meaning that each spouse has some individual accounts and the couple has joint accounts together. This is like the hybrid of the “Common Potters” and the “Independent Operators” because with this financial option, each spouse can be independent yet also maintain joint finances with their spouse. This could be a good option for a couple who wants the best of both worlds!
While one of these three options is not better than the other, the choice is entirely dependent on the couple’s situation. If you have questions about managing marital finances, contact one of our attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates to schedule a consultation today!