Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Him vs. Me

This blog has helped me focus in on my personal finances, but also on my married finances. Before we got engaged we talked very broadly about money. We both seemed to be savers in general, and we both disclosed our debts to each other.

Since my fiancé and I are to be married in about a month I thought it was about time that we talked about the future of our finances. What do we want to do with the money we already have? How do we want to save for a house? What do we want to do with cash wedding gifts? That sort of thing.

I should disclose that I prefer it when things are neat and organized. My fiancé believes that if something is left on the floor (btw- this could be a range of items from clothing to important paperwork) it should be left there so the individual can find it later.

These beliefs seem to carry over to finances. I like to pay bills as they come via online banking. He likes to automate everything so he never has to worry about it. I manage my investments myself at a discount brokerage; he has his investments actively managed at a large brokerage firm that also handles his parent’s investments. I like to have separate named accounts for my saving goals: Tithe, Oh @#!% Fund, Fabulous Things, and Baby-Needs-a-New-Car fund (I also have similar names for my corresponding CDs). He on the other hand has one savings account. One.

So the discussion went something like this:

Me: If you only have one savings account, how do you know that you’re saving enough to reach goals that you have?
Him: I don’t have to worry about it.
Me: (confused) What do you mean?
Him: Whatever I don’t spend, I put in my Cash account and I don’t ever touch it.
Me: When would you touch it?
Him: If I need to.
Me: What sort of things would you touch it for?
Him: I don’t know emergencies…
Me: (Thinking- oh it’s an emergency account)
Him: (continuing)… like when I bought your ring and the TV.
Me: But those weren’t emergencies, those were planned purchases!

Let’s just say, at this point, things dissolved. We eventually got things kind of figured out, but really I felt like I had more questions still than answers.

When merging finances it seems you not only have to sign up for the joint accounts, you also have to converge minds.

Anyone got any tips for newlyweds-to-be?

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