Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Newly.Wed: the Big Merger

by kerri
May I just say, good or bad, in relationships many things are related to money. Maybe it doesn't speak well of our society or maybe it does. But the truth of things is love is not enough to sustain a marriage/relationship. It helps; it makes you more willing to try new things or put up with things you NEVER would have without it. But we need to have food and shelter and shoes. (Matt would disagree with one of those. Can you guess which?)

I bring this up because recently we took one of the biggest steps in our relationship: joint checking. To the outside world, I realize this doesn't seem all that big of a deal; however, we've been dating for A Long Time and we have become set in our ways with regards to our personal finances. I am a diligent (read: mildly obsessive) checkbook-balancer, constantly making sure my balance matches the bank's. Matt checks his balance every time he makes a deposit or withdrawal at the ATM. I use debit cards, Matt uses cash Only. You get the picture. Fortunately, we are both successful at keeping track of our money and agree on budgets and spending patterns. But getting a hang of doing it Together is very interesting indeed.

Budgeting isn't easy for anyone I don't think. Because there is always something out there to be purchased - the new Gran Turismo game for Matt, a lovely jersey print for me. But it's important for both of us (once again - thank goodness that we agree on this) that we spend conservatively and are both aware of our expenses. Everybody finds a different system that works for them, and we are slowly but surely finding ours. I just got off the phone with Matt after paying off some major bills this weekend. He asked me (in three different ways, mind you) if I made sure to include ALL of the things we paid off in my balance.

Yes Matt, I added our deposits and subtracted our payments.
Yes Matt, I included that check in my balance.
No Matt, I did not write so many checks on things that we are now negative money and required to wash dishes at the bank to work it off!

I digress. I love that we are taking equal roles in this venture into joint checking. I love that we feel equally responsible to each other and our running balance to check in with each other about the status of our money. And I seriously love that we are starting our financial marriage (because let's face it, marriage is the biggest financial commitment we will ever make) on the right foot with good habits, very little debt (in the name of my lovely little Toyota Corolla, Glenda) and the desire for a partnership.

Now, to convince a certain someone that a ten-day St. Lucian honeymoon is totally fiscally responsible and Necessary...


  1. When Craig and I were newlyweds I was in charge of paying the auto loan. The loan, I should mention, that was under his name only. Somehow my bookkeeping got away from me and I ended up skipping a month. Or two. The result, as you can image, was not pretty on his credit score. I felt awful, but he actually took it in stride.

    His credit has recovered since then, but I haven't. I still get a little nervous every time I make a mortgage payment, afraid I'll repeat my error!

  2. I really don't want to know what that first big mistake will look like. I'm sure I'll be like you and be much harder on myself than Matt is. Guilt is my constant companion

  3. "AWESOME post! loved it."

  4. At least you both are good at keeping track of your money. My husband is *pretty* good and I am TERRIBLE. Needless to say, we have taken the budget class at our church and probably need to take it again because we seem to always end up with "WHAT THE HECK" sometime during the year. Fortunately, we've never been in the negative, but it sure would be nice to see that extra money we *think* we have not disappear.

  5. As a former banker, I can assure you that you are not alone. Not by a long shot.

  6. @Weddings - considering you've never been in the negative, I'd say you're better off than most!


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