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Perceptions and Practices in Independent Management: Blurring the Boundaries Between “Mine,” “Yours” and “Ours”

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Abstract

Research suggests that couples categorized as practicing independent management (IM) have a high level of independence and separateness regarding financial matters. However, this interview study showed that the boundaries between “yours” and “mine” regarding money, finances and consumption are blurred in couples categorized as IM. The blurring of boundaries reflected participants’ understandings of what it means to be in a committed couple relationship and the difficulties associated with having joint expenses and consumption while lacking a "common purse." The study indicated that couples might be less individualistic and private than the label IM suggests and that the practices of those categorized as using IM are varied and complex.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Living-apart-together (LAT) refers to a committed intimate relationship, which does not include a mutual home and is an alternative to different forms of cohabitation. See for example Bawin-Legros and Gauthier (2007), Ghazanfareeon Karlsson and Borell (2005) and Levin (2004).

  2. 2.

    FOREX exchange rate June 6, 2012.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Swedish independent research foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) for the research grant that made this research possible. We would also like to thank our participants for sharing their accounts with us, and the reviewers who contributed to this paper with insightful comments. This research was funded by the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), Grant Number: P2005-1017:1.

Ethical Standards

The authors hereby ensure that this study has been carried out in accordance to the ethical standards of CODEX, which is operated by the Swedish Research Council in cooperation with The Centre for research ethics & bioethics at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Author information

Correspondence to Lars Evertsson.

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Evertsson, L., Nyman, C. Perceptions and Practices in Independent Management: Blurring the Boundaries Between “Mine,” “Yours” and “Ours”. J Fam Econ Iss 35, 65–80 (2014) doi:10.1007/s10834-012-9348-6

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Keywords

  • Money
  • Independent management
  • Financial practices
  • Couplehood
  • Fairness
  • Economic infrastructure