Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Horse Husband

Lauren over at She Moved to Texas posted a great article about Horse husbands and how do you handle finances as a family unit. I was honestly surprised to see how many couples seem to keep their finances separate with the "horsey" spouse paying all the "horsey" bills. I just thought I'd share my experience which is quite a bit different.

My husband Jay and I got married when we were very young. He was only 19! I'm 2 years older. When we got married we had NOTHING, nada, zilch, zip and zero. Well, I take that back we both were already in possession of some lovely school debt so actually we had LESS than nothing. 

(Of course I had to have horses in my wedding.)
However, I did have Ghazal when we got married. Up until I went to college my parents paid most of the bills but when we got married we took responsibility. Of course board back then was only $150-$200 but considering we rented our first apartment for only $350 that should have been a pretty big sign as to what percentage horses were going to take from our finances. Basically my husband was well aware of horses and their cost from the beginning.

Since we both started with nothing we have always had shared finances and bank accounts and honestly I've never thought about doing it any other way. It's pretty easy to share nothing!

Some things have changed, though. I am for the most part a stay at home Mom with three kids. (I always feel the need to justify this but suffice it to say moving every 1-2 years for the past 10 makes having a career and making enough money to pay for child support for 3 kids damn near impossible. Me staying at home was actually the most financially feasible choice we had.) (And as another aside I feel compelled to say that no, I don't regret having children, I love them more than words can say and yes, it is a perfectly acceptable choice for someone to not have kids. Anyone else getting tired of all the facebook posts on "what not to say to a person with kids" or "what not to say to your single friends"??? Seriously, it's like we're all just sitting, waiting for someone to offend us so we can jump all over them.) Anyways, Jay makes more money now but there are a lot more expenses. On top of that I am much more into training/showing and the horse expenses have really skyrocketed from when I was just paying the basics of board, vet and farrier.

I can honestly say I am extremely lucky. I have a very supportive husband who would give me everything I asked for if he could. We've had plenty of rocks and hazards on our road (totally not exaggerating!) but one thing Jay has been very good about is always referring to money as "ours" our income, our debt, etc. We make financial decisions together and sure there are disagreements from time to time but maybe because this is how we've always done it for so many years compromising and finding the best path for both of us has always come fairly easy.


To me sharing finances is a matter of trust and that can be really hard and scary for most of us.
Knowing that Jay could literally "rock my world" if he were to ever decide he wanted something different is terrifying. But here is the thing I simply don't dwell on it. There are some things I have no control over so I dwell on the things that I can change like making sure my marriage is healthy. Sometimes this requires spending less time at the barn than I'd like or not getting to do as many shows, etc. I try to make sure I am investing as much in my marriage and family as I do in horses. This can be a hard balance sometimes and I don't always get it right. We horse people like to joke a lot about how horses are the most important things in our lives and sometimes I totally fall for it but in reality my family has to come first. When they come first there is always plenty of room for horses.

16 comments:

  1. Well put! Sounds like your system works out great...seriously I think that 'stay at home mom' has to be one of the hardest jobs of all!

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  2. I have done both the stay at home and then a career. both are hard and both were the right choice for me at the time. My husband and I also had nothing when we married so our finances have always been joined.

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    1. There's definitely not a right or wrong here just what works for you and your family at the time.

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  3. Everyone has to do what works for them and if happiness ensues it's like winning the lottery. I am so glad you manage to find the right balance. I don't have an SO or kids and I struggle to get the barn time i would like, so I'm kinda jealous of your super balancing powers ☺

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  4. Great post. I'm one of those that pay for my own expenses, but also we don't have children or move regularly, so I can work easily. (And yes, I like kids just fine, just hasn't been in the cards. Those judgey facebook posts are silly. We should never feel like we need to justify those choices :) Sounds like you have a wonderful relationship.

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  5. Yeah... I'm currently still unemployed, though I'm working on it, I swear. But until I hold a paycheck in my hands, hopefully in the very near future, my husband is paying for my riding lessons, my horse lease, as well as my student loans. I count my blessings everyday to have found a soulmate who's supportive of my passions.

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  6. Is he military? Mine is also and we share an account as well. Works for us!

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    1. Yes, we've been in for about 12 years now, more than halfway there!

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  7. Sounds a lot like how Hubby and I manage our finances. So great to have such a supportive and understanding SO!

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  8. This is very similar to my DH and I!

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  9. Liked your take on this! It's always nice to read different perspectives.

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  10. Having met your husband (mucking out Loki's stall while you walked Loki out...) I can say he's definitely a keeper and a rare find and you are a very lucky woman :)

    And I may not current have a desire to have kids but I really wish you and the other moms/stay at home moms I know didn't feel lile they had to justify it!!! That's a very hard and worthwhile job!

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  11. We are quite similar on our outlooks. We share finances and I feel strongly that being a start at home mom though doesn't bring in money per say it sure saves a lot. And I am right there with you that keeping that balance is #1.

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