Are separate bank accounts the key to a happy relationship?

Kim Kardashian keeps her money to herself, and it might just be what makes her marriage work

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By Caroline O'Donoghue on

In the now-infamous Zane Lowe interview of 2014, Kanye West spoke about his wife, Kim Kardashian. In a rare moment of total transparency, Kanye said "She gave me everything. She gave me a family. She gave me a support system. She was in a powerful enough situation where she could love me without asking me for money, which is really hard for me to find." 

It wasn't the first time he mentioned Kim's financial independence as a reason for their success as a couple. Speaking to GQ in the same year, West excitedly proclaimed that "You mean to tell me that this girl with this f**king body and this face is also into style, and she’s a nice person, and she has her own money and is family-oriented? That’s just as cool as a f**king fighter jet or dinosaur!" 

This gives a little context to the recent news that Kim and Kanye have separate bank accounts. That, while Kanye is (by his own admission) over $50 million in "debt" and asking for tech billionaires to fund his ideas, Kim pulled in a cool $52.5 million last year alone. In the Kardashian-West household, their is no "our" money. Simply, there is Kim's money, and there is Kanye's money. Kim is also the one that insisted on a prenup, whereas Kanye was supposedly a little more relaxed about it, and was "ready to give Kim carte blanche on all his financial assets." 

It's always attractive to pretend like money does not swing the balance of power in a relationship, anyone who has ever earned significantly more or less than their partner will tell you that it's a really, really difficult equilibrium to maintain. One person wants to go the Chiltern Firehouse, the other person can barely afford a Nandos. So they go to the Chiltern on the first person's dime, and the second person shifts uncomfortably in their seat, thanking them for the nice treat. 

Now, imagine you're Kanye West, and you're life is an endless parade of five star dishes and different exotic fishes. There are maybe a dozen women on the planet who are age-appropriate and as independently wealthy as your are. And then, you meet Kim Kardashian, one of the shrewdest celebrities since Harvey Weinstein, who can be a mother to your children while pulling in as much green as you do. It's no wonder her money keeps coming up in interviews about her marriage, and it's no wonder their bank accounts remain separate. 

While US tabloids are insisting that their separate finances spell divorce, clearly it's one of the pillars holding their high-profile marriage up. That a woman who is financially independent from her husband is cool as a fighter jet, or a dinosaur.


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Kim Kardashian West
Kanye West

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