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7 tips for Money and Marriage

  • Talk and share goals
  • Run a home like a business
  • Be supportive of careers
  • Enjoy, but within reason
  • Use a mediator
  • Maintain some independence
  • Invest in your marriage
And I found this article which talks about the great debate between joint and separate accounts.

I have to admit after we were engaged for a few good months, and the planning was already in full swing, one of the topics that was always in the back of my mind was how we were going to manage our money after we got married.

Besides cheating, money is one of the most popular reasons that couples break up. Things happen where couples don’t talk about finances and money goals before getting engaged or married, one spouse hides money or spends money without telling the other, or the talk about debt is never brought up and you don’t find out until it’s too late.

I have been able to save up money ever since my first job, have had help from my parents throughout my life, my college was paid off when I was 2 years old thanks to the state of Michigan, and I didn’t even open up a credit card till two years ago.

Then there’s my hubby to be, who has had a job ever since he could have one, has had to pay for everything: car, insurance, bills, and the biggest one, college. He’s had pretty much zero help from his parents, and opening up credit cards his freshman year, he shot himself in the foot and rose up his debt.

We talked about our money habits and issues many times, and thanks to this year’s tax return, I urged him to pay off all his debt, which he did, minus those pesky student loans…which I know is going to take some time.

The reason for all this nonsense is a few weeks ago, my fiance found out that there were some issues with his car’s brakes. Total cost: $556…and I was the one who had to pay. Did I like doing that, no, but unfortunately he had just paid the rent and didn’t have enough money to pay for the repair.

We’ve gone back and forth on how we are going to handle our finances. We have already decided that we want a joint savings account to save up together, but I’ve recently switched from keeping separate checking accounts to want a joint checking account as well.

Why the switch? Two words: my dad. My dad that hasn’t spoken much about things, really woke me up when he told me that once we say “I do” that everything merges, whether you want it to or not. That includes money. Considering I am the more conscious one about finances and saving, I will be the one who handles the money, and any purchases that either one of us does thats above a certain amount, will have to get permission from the other.

I’m not saying everyone should get joint accounts, the best choice is the one that works for you and your partner. What’s most important is honestly and open communication. 

Two weekend’s ago Kyle and I went out to IKEA and bought two bookcases for our living room. We are lacking some serious storage around this place, and we wanted something for us to store all our dvd’s and display some pictures.

While we were booking it for the aisles to pick up our boxes of goodies, Kyle spotted a mason jar sitting on one of the shelves. For a measly $3 we picked it up for our brilliant idea we started the previous day.

That mason jar has become our honeymoon fund jar.

We will have money in our bank accounts to pay for our accommodations, but we wanted to save up some cash for food and activities once we get to Florida. We like the idea of trying to just carry cash, because it let’s you see how much you have spent, instead of whipping out that plastic and getting back and seeing your depleted account.

We are throwing in any cash we get or find. I’ve been putting in all my tips that I receive from work, and Kyle has been taking money out whenever we go to the grocery store. It’s been great to save up something together, and be so excited whenever either of us are able to add something to it. Within a little over a week’s time we have already gathered up over $200 in the jar (I caved and counted it this morning, though I didn’t count all the random change). But hopefully our jar will look like this by the time June rolls around:

No one really tells you how difficult money and budgeting can be. When you get your first job, seeing that money come into your hands is an amazing feeling and being able to spend it feels great. You start to get smarter as time progresses, and you begin to save up more and more money. Then you get to that age where you have to start paying bills, you move out and suddenly you see your account start to decrease more rapidly than ever.

Now, I still have a little bit of a nest egg with my savings account, and I have a fund that my godmother set up for me when I was born (but that I’m trying not to touch until retirement). I feel like what I’ve attempted to save up within the last 8 years of my life has not been enough. I feel like because I’m done with college, have a degree, I should have obtained a job with a wonderful salary. Granted, at least I have a full-time job, and although it’s only hourly, at least I’m getting 40 hours a week, and I have benefits.

Looking down the road, getting through planning our wedding, I’m curious to see what our finances in our lives will be once we are actually married. I have zero debt, he has student loans to pay off. I have some savings, he doesn’t have really anything. I realize that once we are married, everything becomes one. That includes money, which I think some newlywed’s don’t think about.

His debt, becomes our debt, and I will do everything in my power to help him pay those student loans off so we can have more freedom for other things. I am no longer just saving for myself, no longer am I only looking at my own personal bills; I have to get over the “Oh my god, my bank account is going to look lower than what I’m used to” feeling and learn to better manage my paychecks.

Although it definitely would be nice to find a better paying job, with better work hours…

Our photo booth is officially paid off!!

I’m loving getting things taken care of and it’s just one more thing that I don’t need to think about anymore.