Today’s generation of newlyweds are throwing tradition out the window and embracing modern ways in every aspect of their marriages. As men and women take on new roles in marriages, new couples are exploring what works uniquely best for them in terms of managing their household and personal finances.
Today’s newlyweds both have thriving careers and paychecks, and these new couples are readily willing to kick “bread-winner” to the curb and introduce the notion that both spouses are taking part in earning that household income.
While every couple is unique, one extremely modern and somewhat controversial trend with newlyweds is the introduction of “play funds” in a marriage. A play fund is a set amount of money that each partner takes from their own paycheck and deposits into their own individual, separate account. These funds can then be used towards whatever either partner wishes…no questions asked from the other partner.
Following are the top ways a play fund, when used correctly, can reduce stress in a marriage, especially for new couples adjusting to a new, more compromising way of living.
- Set down the ground rules. The rules of a play fund can be different for every couple, but ensure you are both comfortable with the rules you lay down. Discuss appropriate amounts to fund each individual account and narrow down terms of purchases (for example, any item costing more than $500 needs to be discussed pre-purchase).
- Consider specific expenses and discuss what purchases could lead to heated arguments if not previously approved by one another. For example, he’s more than welcome to use his play funds on a guys’ night out, however he will need to talk with you before switching out the dining table for that pool table he bought from Craig’s list.
- Adjust ground rules as you go. Be prepared to discuss topics like promotions and where to designate the extra funds, or planning for a baby and what to reduce from the play accounts to designate to a college savings fund instead.
- Be realistic and communicate with one another. If either of you ever feels uncomfortable with purchases or funds coming and going, talk about it immediately and in a non-confrontational tone. Remember why you initiated play funds in the beginning – to avoid arguments.
While controversial, play funds can greatly reduce stress for first time couples. The notion of going from complete independence to needing to discuss every matter with your spouse can be extremely daunting for new couples.
Play funds provide a way to hold on to your independence without judgement and eliminates arguments over financial budgeting. Those cute heels from DSW may not be accounted for in the budget, but they are factored into your play account. He may never wear that aero-dynamic biker’s helmet, but the purchase won’t put a damper on your finely tuned budget as it came out of his play account.
Be honest and open with one another and experiement with play funds to keep your marriage healthy, happy, and finanically sound.