Wedding Finance

We have to talk about “Kevin Can F ** k Himself” and the lesson he teaches on joint accounts

If you’ve seen “Kevin Can F ** k Himself” then you know that Allison McRoberts (played by “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy) has plenty of reasons to hate her husband Kevin (Eric Petersen). He is stupid, immature and infinitely selfish. Worse, he’s a manipulative liar.

The opening episode, “Living the Dream,” features the couple’s unbalanced dynamics as Allison runs around their cramped, infested house, picking up voids and Kevin’s underwear. When not organizing snacks for the birthday barrel Kevin wants instead of the intimate dinner party she craves, she dreams of a fresh start in a new home. The couple have a joint account, like many newlyweds, and Allison has mentally tracked all of the weekly deposits she made to their savings.

When she announces it’s time for them to talk to a mortgage lender and finally move to a cockroach-free house, Kevin procrastinates before assuring his wife that “whatever Allison wants, Allison gets” .

But in a moment of frustration as Allison confides in her neighbor Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) and reassures herself that they will be in a better place, Patty tells her that the savings account is empty.

“It’s not possible because I was there when we opened the account,” Allison told Patty.

Patty goes back to her phrase: “… Like 10 years ago, and then you let him follow the money.”

“Because I’m bad with money,” Allison says, to which Patty responds, “Do you think he’s better? “

In our world, we are now in the wedding season, when relatives and friends gather around the bride and groom with advice on how to maintain a happy marriage. Expect the classics: “Don’t go to bed angry. “Kiss every day.” “Make each other laugh.”

But if you really want to do the bride and groom a favor, have them watch this episode and explain the moral of the story. When it comes to finances, it is wise to think in terms of hers, hers and ours. To stay together, separate at least some of your finances.

This is not a popular opinion, in part due to strong cultural traditions. Joint accounts were not only the norm for married couples for much of the 20th century, they were the norm until the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974 made it possible. women to build their own credit history and, with it, increased financial independence.

Even now, however, the financial experts I have read are divided on the issue. There are a number of non-scientific studies and opinion pieces like this that support keeping separate bank accounts, and apparently among Millennials the practice is increasingly the norm.

Then there’s a frequently cited working paper co-authored by Joe Gladstone of University College of London, Emily Garbinsky of Notre Dame, and Cassie Mogilner Holmes of UCLA Anderson that finds that engaged couples who mix all their money in a joint bank account are happier together and less likely to break up than pairs who keep all or part of their money separate.

“We find evidence that joint accounts increase the sense of financial unity – making purchases and financial goals feel shared – and this mediates the relationship between joint accounts and well-being,” it reads. in the newspaper.

As such, if you’re at a shower where everyone is staying cute, advising the bachelor or bachelor to keep separate stacks could turn the coin against you.

But there are enough anecdotes and stories, real and fictional, with scenes of the long-suffering, hard-working partner going through the bank to check their joint account ledger for whatever reason, to find out. that this savings is as vacant as that of a politician. to promise.

By the way, this advice doesn’t just apply to brides. Rose Byrne’s hated wife in Apple TV + ‘s “Physical” has emptied the joint account she shares with her husband to fuel a secret disorder, and her urgency to hide it from her spouse leads her to exploit others. Eventually she becomes an aerobics freak, so, you know, silver liners.

Yet it all comes down to a matter of trust that crumbles with the evolutionary personalities available. No one stays the same over the years, which means the person you marry won’t be the same human being a year later, or two years, or ten. One of you might lose your mind or get into serious debt or reunite a secret family or develop an addiction.

This realization hit me long before I met my husband watching “Dolores Claiborne” with my mother. It was a repeat viewing for me, but the first time for her, a woman who struggled through a grueling divorce that lasted for years and cost her dearly.

There is a scene in which a tired Dolores goes to the bank to find out that her abusive alcoholic husband, Joe, had cleaned up their savings, essentially trapping her. At that point, my mom apologized from the family room and didn’t come back.

She had enjoyed the movie until then, so when I found her and asked her why she left, she explained to me that was what happened to her – to us, her five children. My father was the main breadwinner, but he decided to finance his new life with the money my mother inherited from her relatives. He had a beautiful new apartment, and his estranged wife and children had to deal with a foreclosure notice that my mother somehow rejected.

Eventually we finished the movie, but his shaken reaction stuck with me. Step forward a few decades and I can attest to being in a happy and stable partnership where our money is his, hers and ours through a shared account and separate accounts. If he wants to buy a pandemic mask that makes him look like Jason from “Friday the 13th,” I can’t comment on that. It’s his money. If I buy clothes in a design that I love but hates, too bad. If we need a new car, that’s what the house account is for. We are transparent to each other about the situation, so it works.

Television is by no means a reliable teacher or advisor in many ways, but when the intrigues of financial insecurity reoccur in different series, it’s usually the woman who ends up holding the empty bag.

Sure, financial secrecy could lead to a completely different revelation, as Skyler White can attest once she starts laundering her meth hub husband’s money on “Breaking Bad,” but you’ll remember maybe the union did not end happily or well.

Or you could be as committed as Carmela Soprano and trust your spouse that when they say you will be taken care of, they are telling the truth. How this ultimately happened is still somewhat debated.

Allison, at least, is learning the hard way. In the same episode, she remembers Kevin persuading her that she is a bad driver, so he takes the car, leaving her to rely on him for commutes or finding her own way to work. “But you know, I thought about it. I’ve never had an accident. And I can drive a stick, I can parallel park, I can merge and, you know, I actually think I liked it. really drive, “she says.

She realizes that Kevin has convinced her that the reason she never finished school is that she is unable to complete anything. “But do I never finish things, or do he take them from me? Am I bad at driving, or does he want the car? As long as I had this thing – this, like, this picture of what I, what we could be – I had something to hope for. But now I’m trying to imagine something good, and … what the hell are you supposed to do if you can’t not close your eyes and imagine a future where all is well? “

This is the epiphany Allison arrives at for her 10th wedding anniversary.

So, bride and groom, if you ignore those words or heed these stories, at least consider the value of the parable in “Kevin” and other shows and movies. Nothing is certain in life, and these are pesky times to remind us that there is no guarantee that all will be well. The least you can do is take steps to make sure that when you close your eyes you can at least imagine a bank balance that you know will be there when you need it. Also, don’t go to bed angry.

“Kevin Can F ** k Himself” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC and airs a week earlier on AMC +.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.