Dear Lola,

I am engaged to be married to a wonderful man who I’ve been dating for several years. We maintain separate finances, as we felt it was important not to get too entangled before deciding if we wanted to spend our lives together. I recently brought up the subject of our money becoming joint after getting married and my fiancé seemed to think we would keep it separate forever. He wants to continue each paying for 50% of our lives. We would split a future mortgage, each pay for our own vehicles, cover half of the home’s expenses, etc.

Lola, I am shocked and a bit irritated! We are planning to build a life and a family together.

I earn less money than my fiancé and I’ve already had to skip going on vacations with him due to earning less money. I pay for half of our apartment, even though it’s not one I would have chosen on my own since it is pricier than I prefer and takes a large chunk of my income. I also have stayed home from dinner with friends when I cannot spare the money. I should note that I am very responsible with my income and I have no debt other than a car payment, which is for an economical car and not something extravagant. My fiancé is also debt-free with very few extravagant hobbies, except for his love of traveling. This whole situation has left me feeling like a gold digger who is intent on stealing his money.

Is there any way to maintain separate finances and have this marriage work?

Marrying for Money

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Marrying for Money,

I’m going to give you a simplified answer first. Yes, many people maintain separate finances and have successful marriages. That being said, those partners both agree to the situation and negotiate a fair setup. Some have a joint account where each partner puts in a specified percentage of their income – this account then pays for the mortgage or rent, any household expenses, groceries, and other house incidentals that arise. However, this situation is best used when both partners are earning a similar salary or have outside financial obligations to consider (like alimony or child support payments).

I do not think your situation will remain argument free for very long.

Eating dinner alone while your partner is out to dinner with friends will be noted by those friends. They will have pity for the person sitting at home, while they secretly judge the partner they are spending time with. While this is a common situation among people who are dating, it is much less common for spouses to spend time with other couples when one person is sitting at home.

Your social group will exclude you both, thanks to this uncomfortable situation you’ve forced upon them.

When one partner goes on vacation, leaving the other behind, bitter feelings will start to develop. Part of being married is experiencing life together. One spouse having tales to talk about at dinner will render his partner silently clutching a fork and resisting the urge to stab someone with it.

I imagine blood splatter will ruin the romance in a hurry.

Speaking of ruined romance, one day the Miniature Humans will begin to arrive. Someone will surely have to take at least a few weeks off work in order to get them situated – leaving that person without an income. I’m assuming this will be you, Marrying for Money, because you will need time to recover from giving birth.

Prepare to feel very poor for the next 18 years.

The Mini Human will eventually get sick and not be able to attend school. Someone must lose time at work, leaving them in a worse financial position than the partner who was able to stay at work and earn their full wage. Who will pay for all the extracurricular activities that the Mini Human wants to join?! Who will sacrifice and buy the bigger vehicle should the word ‘triplets’ be used during your pregnancy?! How will you divide up the cost of Harvard?!

You have ruined this Mini Human’s life before she is even born!

Ok, I’ll bring it back to your current reality now that I’ve made you panic and burst into tears. Separate finances can work. Both partners must agree to the terms and be fully committed to making it successful. However, you should not get married unless you know for a fact that your fiancé will renegotiate this in the future, should you ask him to. Life changes in an instant – your fiancé may be losing sight of the possibility that he could lose his job tomorrow and you’ll still be there to make sure he is fed and housed.

Make sure he would do the same for you before you say your vows.


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41 replies on “Dear Lola – Marrying for money…

    1. It’s never a good idea to get married to someone when such a big issue has been brought up and each party is on the opposite side of the fence. That’s when you speak to a professional and get some guidance on how to move forward.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! And that support works both ways! Imagine if he is in a car accident the week after the wedding, and he finds out that he won’t be able to do his chosen profession for the rest of his life. He’s going to feel pretty crappy about demanding separate finances. Marriage is all about combining and supporting one another.


    1. I agree with you. It’s never a good sign that you’re engaged to somebody and you don’t have the same values about big things – finances, children, religion. Those are the kind of things you usually figure out while you’re dating.


    1. I will admit, I’ve known a few people who kept separate finances due to divorces and child support issues, but none of that seems to be an issue here. That’s just a big red flag that someone is already planning for the end of the marriage, before it’s even begun!


  1. Trying hard not to be too judgemental, but this really wouldn’t work for me!
    I have friends that operate like this and family life is such a battle over who pays to feed and them, kids clubs etc. I’m all for independence but a partnership needs to meet in the middle #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I could understand if there were extenuating circumstances that required them to keep their money separate. But even then, it’s like you said, a constant battle over who’s paying because a budget is fluid and changes. Life circumstances change drastically over the course of a marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ekk! Great advice for a very VERY tricky situation. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head by saying marriage should be about sharing experiences – no where did it say that one person would sit at home all alone, whilst the other went out for jollies because of a difference in income. Thanks for being a fab #dreamteam host xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was the part that really was a sticking point for me. When 1/2 of the relationship can’t go out and the other half chooses to continue to do so – it seemed like the marriage was not going to go well if that continued. The vacation thing was also really shocking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well it’s definitely a red flag situation and yes undoubtedly lead to more difficulties after you are married (should you go through with it). To be honest I would have doubts about this. Marriage is about sharing and trust and this all sounds a bit too ‘separate’ for my liking. I would be inclined to say don’t do this, unless you are really sure that it will be ok and you are willing to give your future spouse a chance! At the end of the day I guess only you know best! #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it’s definitely a red flag to be entering marriage with such an idea of keeping things separate. Instead of marrying, they could continue dating as they are. I’ve always viewed getting married as that final commitment where you combine everything.


    1. It definitely sounds like one person might be a little more ready for marriage at the moment – while the other person wants to keep everything separate, and go on vacation solo.


  4. I would say if you earn less than you pay less in your share. Also what happens if either of you lost your job or came into a windfall? maintaining separate accounts doesn’t matter int he eyes of the courts should there be a divorce, unless of course there is a prenup. My husband and I had joint account within a couple of months of meeting, however we didn’t live together for just over 2 years. i no longer have a job and his salary pays for everything and I never have to ask for a penny #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t seem like a marriage of separate everything would work out very well. Because as you said, jobs don’t always stay the same and the point of marriage is to have a partnership to work through life.


  5. Some good advice there Lola. I feel for Marrying For Money. My husband and I share all of our finances no matter who earns what. It’s only right and fair to have a successful marriage. I can also see lots of arguments and issues in this marriage if action isn’t taken now x #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Imagine what happens when their kid wants to go to college and one spouse cannot afford their share of the tuition. That is awful, and not even remotely a partnership which is what marriage should be.


  6. Great advice Lola. I have to say, and this may be a bit controversial, but I don’t really understand people who have separate finances when they’re married. I’m not judging, I just don’t get it. I guess it’s because for me, if we did that, I’d be destitute! I’m a SAHM and have NO income so it just wouldn’t work for us. But to be honest, how can it possibly work unless you earn the same amount of money? It’s always going to be unfair to one person. Anyway, like I said, great advice Lola. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I think that in most cases separate finances are a very big red flag. Even if you earn the exact same income as your spouse, one car accident or one layoff will make the dynamic so uneven. Then you’re not just dealing with a life change, you’re dealing with a complete overhaul of the way your marriage works.


  7. Lola, I would have loved your advice on this about 15 years ago lol. My marriage wasn’t as bad as this future marriage is sounding but I definitely learned some harsh lessons. Like when the ex-husband spent more than he made then I had to pick up the slack by giving my car back to the dealer or working more hours while going to college full time. And oh yeah, the kids! So much to sacrifice from both parties and if one isn’t willing to make those sacrifices, resentment kicks in big time. I love your advice Lola! She needs to really consider all of her options before walking down the aisle. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know people always say that it’s normal to be nervous before a marriage, but I was absolutely not nervous getting married to my husband. I think being nervous is a sign that you might need some more time to think. And red flags like this financial situation are definitely major warnings to stop and reconsider.

      Liked by 1 person

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