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What is Polyamory?
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Poly people deal with a lot of issues, but this site is mostly devoted to actually making a group marriage work.
One of the biggest issues in any marriage is money. Couples fight about it all the time, so why should a group marriage be any different?
First things, first. I know this is going to sound annoying to the free spirit, the type that bucks "The System" and enters into a poly marriage in the first place, but guys, you've got to have a budget.
No, you're not different. you need a budget, too!
Matter of fact, in theory, you can get by as a monogamous couple without one... (Well, maybe you could. I was married nine and a half years as half of a couple and I can tell you, before we did the budget thing, we wound up sinking down about half our income into debt). A group marriage without a budget? Forget it! You've got three or more people, all with their own tastes, ideas and ways to acchieve goals. You need a plan.
In our particular quad, while our husbands are quite skilled at earning money (kisses to The Prince and The Beast), they're not financial planners. Now, that's okay. I'm a hell of a planner and my wife is fantastic at making sure any plan is followed. So, since the men aren't really financial wizards, we leave them out of all that mess, right?
No, we don't. We really like being married and want to stay that way. Besides, what if we both got hit by a truck or something? Who would continue saving for the kids' college educations?
What we do is treat it more like a larger organization. I use financial software. ( Quicken , as it happens). Most of these programs make it possible to print out reports by just about any block of time you'd care to name. We go over the finances monthly, since most of our bills only occur once a month.
There are many ways to set up finances in a group marriage. Some people like to set up separate accounts for each person and make each member responsible for a certain set of bills. This can work very well, though I have a personal prejudice against it. I prefer that a marriage be a group effort and would rather we share fortunes and setbacks together.
This is a fantasy look at the ideal poly family of four adults and two children. This table is not an absolute. The basic idea here though, is that all incomes and outgoes have to balance.
You can get by making less than this "ideal" budget, by the way. These figures
are just guidelines.
Each category is also a link to how to save money in each category. Email me with any tips that may work for you. I would really like to include the uniquely polyamorous ones in with this site. If you'd like a good tightwadding reference, check this out. It's kind of an Amy Dacyczyn kiss up, but the links are useful.
I know that sounds crass, but if you're poly, having your finances in order is something that you should do just out of self-defense. I know that money shouldn't matter in a court or in the court of public opinion. The simple truth is that it does. Recently, a young woman came out as both pagan and poly on an MTV spot. Her child's paternal grandmother sued for custody of the child. It is my very strong opinion that were the paternal grandmother not providing some amount of financial support and child care, the case would not have been the issue it was. Protect yourself. Be very, very careful from whom and how you as a family will accept money -- especially from other family members. The same goes double for child care.
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