financial power plays in marriageIn a business partnership, if one person has a greater share of ownership than the other, that person is the majority owner.  Own 51%, and you are the primary owner with more say in decision-making, all other things being equal.

Many people might say that marriage is, in effect, a business partnership.  Oh, I know that it’s actually MUCH more than that, and there are other aspects to marriage that are much more meaningful and important.  But in terms of money and financial decision-making, what impacts one person impacts the partnership.

So, should this be treated like an actual business? In other words, for purposes of financial decision-making, does one person have more say than the other?

First of all, how would one determine who has greater power to make decisions?  I’m sure there are many different ways this could come about.  Here are some examples:

  • The person who has a higher income
  • The one who has made more money since the start of the marriage
  • The partner who brought more money into the marriage
  • The person who knows the most about money
  • The one who has the most interest
  • The one who is the most able to persuade the other
  • The person who is more domineering

As you can see, there are a variety of ways that a couple can end up having one person being more “influential” with spending than the other.  Some are measurable, others are more behavioral in nature.

Regardless, I don’t think any of them make too much sense.  I’m sure that many people don’t agree, and actually do things differently.  Also, perhaps some folks might agree but in reality do things differently in practice.  I understand how that goes!

My way of looking at it is that two people form a partnership that is like a business, but not exactly a business.  How much one earns shouldn’t matter.  Everything should be shared equally!

For example:

Let’s say that a guy makes $75,000 per year, and his wife does not work.  It could go the opposite way of course, but I just picked one of the two options as an example.  Anyway, if they were single and not married, he would have $75,000 to work with, and she would be unemployed with no income.

When married, they jointly have $75,000 even if one person earns it all and the other doesn’t. Does that make the person earning more the primary decision maker just based on that alone?

In my idealistic view, I say no.  It seems to me like the spouse making zero income should still be an equal partner in decision-making.  Doing work at home, running more errands, and especially handling childcare – those are work.  Actually, even if none of that was happening, they’re still partners for better or worse!

This might extend to spending or “fun” money too.  If the guy gets $100 per month to go out with the guys, his wife should get similar considerations.

This might not be totally practical to measure it to the exact dollar, and nobody is suggesting that this needs to be done in that way.  Rather, just have a spirit of shared financial decision-making as partners, just like in the rest of the relationship.

Agree? Disagree?

I curious what you think of this topic

Should You Rent a Safe Deposit Box?

by TTMK on April 14, 2014 · 2 comments

should you rent a safe deposit boxWe often have some really important documents and possessions that we simply don’t want to lose.  These are physical papers or jeweler, for example, that we simply can’t scan and store a copy on the cloud.  Rather, we really want to make sure that we keep the items safe and untouched so they won’t get lost.

Enter the safe deposit box!

For me, renting a safe deposit box has worked out quite well.  A big part of this is that it came free with my account!  That sure makes it a little bit less of a decision.  However, that won’t be the case with many people, and that’s where it becomes a decision that merits some assessment.  In my case, I think it would still be a worthwhile purchase.

In my situation, it’s been a place to keep some important documents I don’t need to have laying around the house.  In addition, there are a few other items in there as well.  Whatever the case, each person might have his or her own reason to consider a safe deposit box.  But what are the factors to consider?

Here are 4 pros and 4 cons to having a safe deposit box:

Reasons why a safe deposit box rental might be a good idea

Your home isn’t in a totally safe area.  Now, of course no town or even neighborhood is going to be 100% perfectly safe and risk-free.   But a secured vault area of a bank would seem to be a more safe location than the typical home.  Someone would have to get into the bank, get into the vault, and then access the boxes.  That’s multiple tough steps, right there.  Not to mention that it would seem to be tough for someone to access your safe deposit box during business hours, as each box generally has its own key and the box holder has to show identification before accessing it.

You don’t have easy places to hide things at home.  Even if you consider yourself to be creative in terms of hiding things, the bad guys are probably not entirely dumb.  Plus, a safe might be able to be carried out without too much trouble

Saving money on insurance.  It’s possible that insurance on certain items could be lower if they are located in a safe deposit box instead of at home.  Saving money is a good thing, right?

Reasons not to rent a safe deposit box

You won’t have immediate access.  If you need the documents or valuables, you’ll be able to get them during business hours.  That might not be all that convenient, and is a factor to consider.

You get nervous without your valuables in your immediate possession.  If not having things with you at all times can make you worry, maybe that safe deposit box rental isn’t the best option.

Lack of FDIC Insurance.   This is specific to the U.S., but my understanding is that while funds in accounts can be insured, items in safe deposit boxes might not be.  Worth keeping in mind.

Cost.   Yes, I realize that I noted that I didn’t pay a fee for mine.  However, some people might have to pay depending on the financial institution they’re dealing with.  If you’re paying $50 per year, for example, you want to make sure that it’s worth it based on the value of actually having it.

My Questions for You

Do you have a safe deposit box?

Why or why not?

Do you have any other advantages or disadvantages for us to consider regarding renting one?

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