Now it’s time for some financial tips, DD style! Ha.
Whether or not your relationship registers on the kink-spectrum, money can be a challenging topic for any couple. I thought I’d share how Mike and I handle finances. Yes, boring! You want to read about a spanking or two. Sorry, but even kinksters have to address everyday issues and determine to what extent those issues incorporate their chosen relationship dynamic. A post by NaughtyNora prompted me to share how Mike and I handle finances.
Control of money is associated with power. Giving a submissive any control over the finances seems counter-intuitive to a D/s relationship. However, some relationships consider it a household task, akin to cleaning, thus no issue with the sub being responsible for the money. Basically, if the Dom doesn’t like to deal with it, whether it be finances or anything else, then it makes sense that the sub takes care it.
As with all things D/s, it is up to each relationship to define the level and types of D/s behaviors work for them. There is no set rules, no D/s club to be kicked out of. The only rule is you must do whatever it is that you find works for your relationship. That may mean the sub is very involved when it comes to the finances. Then again, it may mean they aren’t involved at all.
This seems weird, but I feel like this post is more personal than others?!? Funny how talking money seems more personal than talking sex and kink? Odd, isn’t it? Anyway….
HOW WE DO IT
Mike and I use a system we adopted about four years prior to us adopting Domestic Discipline, so nothing Dominant or Submissive was intended. It simply helped me better understand what is truly available to spend on our day-to-day needs.
For us, even though it seems that Mike yields the most “power” with the finances, he reminds me that because I spend 90-95% of the money (outside our fixed bills), I am the one with the power to make or break our finances. It is my behavior in regards to financial decisions that has the greatest significant influence on the finances. So how can it be that Mike has the “power” yet I have all the “influence?”
TWO JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNTS
We have two primary checking accounts. We are both on each account and can both monitor account activity. One checking account is our “Bills” account. The other is our “Day to Day” account.
The Bills account is where Mike’s paycheck is deposited and where all our monthly bills are paid; mortgage, utilities, savings, etc. All are done via automatic withdrawal so there are never checks to write… and yes, we consider “savings” as an expense. It is the only way to be disciplined with savings is to simply set aside a fixed amount every month, no matter what, just like a bill.
Mike will calculate how much money, until his next paycheck, is left over from his current check once all the bills that are coming due are subtracted. He leaves a small cushion and then simply transfers what isn’t needed over into the Day to Day. For instance;
- $4,000 balance in the Bills Account
- $2,600 in bills to be paid before the next paycheck
- $150 cushion to stay in the Bills Account
- $1,250 to transfer to Day-to-Day Account ($4,000 – 2,600 – $150).
This means we have $1,250 for groceries, gas, clothing, entertainment, or whatever comes up over the next two weeks. While be both use the Day-to-Day, I probably account for 90-95% of what is spent from this account.
Mike and I may discuss whether or not the Day-to-Day account needs the full $1,250. For instance, maybe there is still a $500 balance in the Day-to-Day before he transfers. If we know we don’t have any particular unexpected day-to-day expenses coming up, we may agree that $1,750 is way more than what is needed for the next two weeks. Thus, Mike may decide to just transfer $1,000 over instead of $1,250, and put an extra $250 into savings.
Conversely, if we plan on spending more than normal, say back to school clothing for J, Mike may decide to transfer $1,500 instead of $1,250, and take the $250 out of savings. Although I have access to all the accounts, we agreed that Mike would make the decisions on whether or not to ever take money out of savings.
TWO JOINT SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
We have two joint savings accounts. One is a “true” savings account where we save for big ticket items and the unexpected. The other is specifically for medical expenses (yes, this is America where healthcare is a constant threat to the finances). Since our health insurance has very high deductibles, we have enough set aside to fully pay those deductibles at any time, thus an unexpected health event won’t hit our “true’ savings.
Given J’s high medical bills each year, we always know we are going to pay his out-of-pocket maximum every year ($5,000). Thus, about $192 of every paycheck goes into our “Medical” account so we replenish the $5,000 we spent during the year on J’s care. In addition there is HSA money put aside through Mike’s employer, but that helps cover the rest of our family out-of-pocket costs and other medical care that insurance doesn’t cover. Overall structure is a bit more complicated than I state here, but suffice to say, we have a lot of money set aside specifically for healthcare. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
NO CREDIT CARDS
We do have a joint credit card account – however, I don’t keep a credit card, only Mike has one (yes, only one credit card!). This is for emergencies and rarely gets used and quickly, if not immediately, gets paid off.
HOW IT HELPS ME
The purpose of all these accounts was to help me – not as a submissive – but as a money manager. I was never good with money as to me, money serves one purpose — to spend it. If you aren’t spending it, then it really isn’t money, right? There was a time that I felt if there was money in the account, then it could be spent. Even though I consider myself educated, college degree and all that, and I can rationalize that there are bills that aren’t due yet but will have to be paid…. I still had this issue that if there was money in the account, it was there to spend. Thus I had a lot of overspending issues in my life.
Lastly, both of us agreed it was important for me to be on all the accounts and for me to understand what money was where. This isn’t about power, it is about practicality and safety. If something unexpected were to happen to Mike, I need to know and have access to the money plus I need to learn how to stick to a budget if he is gone. I now feel I have the financial discipline to handle it.
ADD SOME DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE
Mike came up with this “Bills” versus “Day-to-day” and separating the savings accounts so that I could better visualize what was actually available for me to spend over a certain amount of time. It worked wonders in establishing Financial Discipline for me.
Now add in the Domestic Discipline! I can not purchase anything other than essentials without Mike’s permission. The result? Wow, we are saving more money then every before! Which means maybe Mike retires a year or two earlier and/or we have nicer vacations, more spa days, our XXX-mas shopping spree, and our clothing shopping spree.
Peaceful financial matrimony. . . make that, MATRIMONEY!