Sunday, April 13, 2014

Financial Dates

How we deal with money can be a very personal topic.  Your own personal attitude, upbringing, and even your current situation all play into your opinions and openness with regard to this topic.  While money is personal and tends to stay personal.. how do you deal with combining finances with your spouse?  My wife and I dated for 5 years before we got married so we had begun the process of discussing money, goals, and financial decisions prior to being married however we did not truly combine everything until after we tied the knot.

We got married 2.5 years ago and in our marriage the tasks of paying the bills and sending money to investments has somewhat been owned by me.. notice I said the tasks not the strategy, interest, or decisions.  This is because the money that rolls in from paychecks is not mine or hers.. but rather it is ours.  Having someone else affected by your decision making as well as someone else who cares about your decisions ushers in a whole new era of financial responsibility. 

Due to all of the reasoning referenced above Mrs CC and I started having 'financial dates'.  They started a few years back when we had credit card debt we wanted to eliminate.. Since I pay all the bills she doesn't necessarily see them very often however she certainly sees all the large payments coming out of our checking accounts.. so we would open a bottle of wine and I would go through all of our credit cards to see our balances and she would jot them down in her notepad.. We would do this about once per month and it was great because it allowed both of us to stay engaged with the big picture. As we paid off our credit cards and our incomes / investments increased the conversations matured into discussions of things like asset allocations (she had a huge amount of company stock which we diversified) and contribution amounts (figuring out how much to contribute to our various accounts).  Now in the present day our investments are all very automated to ensure that over the 26 paychecks per year everything is maxed out and the investments are simple so there is not much allocation to discuss.  So now we really just open up our account and review our net worth and track our debt ( we have made a few strategic purchases we are now paying down). 

In a nutshell we both feel it is important to both know how we are doing and both are active participants in achieving our goals.  I do not believe we would be able to achieve the same amount of success if we were not both on board. 

Does anyone else have financial dates with their significant other?  How about the complete opposite - separate accounts?? 

Thanks for reading!


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