We did so much great work on this last weekend! It was totally worth skipping my dancin’ plans to finish this, and I feel great about what we got done and where we’re going with this. Thank you SO much for being my partner on this, baby. 5 years ago
How I did it: this goal mostly involved merging our finances while transitioning from long-term relationship status to married. we have yet to set up the joint accounts like we plan to do, but we have had weekly conversations about our individual and collective goals and concerns. our income is relatively low, which means that we need to be extra smart about how we manage it. we were already very resourceful people, but doing more research has helped us to feel more in control and proactive about our financial future.
Sometimes it was challenging to talk about, but in the end we did GREAT and I’m so glad we did it! I feel really good about the future we are planning together, and about our ability to talk about important things when we need to. 5 years ago
I used to balance our checkbook every weekend in Quicken. Now we’re working together to try and find a new routine using Mvelopes. Neither of us has used this tool before, so we’re on equal footing as far as our understanding of the software. For once it feels really nice NOT to be the expert; whenever something confusing happens we just dig in and try to figure it out… and that’s how we are learning. And since it’s an online tool, we can both work on it at the same time from different computers, sitting together and asking each other any questions that come up. I’m so glad we’re doing this together!
And now when we talk about money or make decisions about money, we will both be on the same page about the context, about our overall financial situation. 5 years ago
Thanks, baby, for getting that all worked out and set up, and for making sure we get that discount on the service!
Now we have all his accounts, and all my accounts, and all our joint accounts in one place. And since Mvelopes uses a different model, it will hopefully spur some shifts in the way we think about and use our money. Hooray!
Not only that, but we have been working together to tackle our debt. We prioritized one of his credit cards, since it had the highest interest rates, and paid it off. Now moving on to the next one. Hooray! 5 years ago
As we transition from our life now to married life, possibly with kids. It was great to get all that out in the open, understand each others’ expectations, and come up with some ideas for moving forward. Thanks, baby! 5 years ago
Another thing Suze Orman mentioned on that Oprah show last week is that a couple’s credit rating is basically whichever credit rating is lower, between the two of you. Which would be my partner’s.
This makes me wonder if I should be paying off his debt, instead of mine, with my spare cash. It would be an investment in our joint financial future, in getting better interest rates on large purchases we make together. On the other hand, everything could just be in my name… but I would prefer to clean out any skeletons still lurking in his closet too.
Certainly we would have to come to some sort of agreement about it; I mean, we’re not married yet! But I think we can come to an agreement that works for both of us. 5 years ago
My fella watched an episode of Oprah yesterday in which Suze Orman gave several couples a reality check about what they can and cannot afford. So it seems we should talk again about our wedding plans, and revise our budget downward. The idea of scaling back is a tad disappointing, but actually I’m also breathing an internal sigh of relief. It would be so much easier than making a miracle on a shoestring, or paying debt back for decades! 5 years ago
FlashI'm getting more and more messages that this is really, REALLY important for our marriage and our life together as a couple
We keep hearing stories about marriage after marriage that has struggled or ended because of money, money values, money management, etc. I think we both feel fortunate at how well we are doing with this. But there’s always room for improvement. We have decided to do some big picture assessments and planning this weekend. 5 years ago
His business is really picking up, and now that I’m not worrying about that so much, I realize that the time is long overdue for me to tend to my own garden and think about where my own career is going … and what I can do to keep myself marketable in this economy. 6 years ago
This translates into a less predictable income. In the past this kind of thing has been more stressful, a bigger struggle for us. It’s still stressful for me, fiscal conservative that I am. But now we are communicating better and as a result we have a plan, and a backup plan, and something of a schedule. I feel much more comfortable with the risk. I’m not gonna say it’s easy. But it does continue to get less and less difficult. Thanks for sticking with me, baby. You bring some really valuable things to the table, and together I know we’re a powerhouse financial team! 6 years ago
He suggested we try Mvelopes.com, a personal finance website someone from 43Things recommended to me a while ago. I wasn’t interested at the time, since I was happy with my existing methods using Quicken.
But yesterday we signed my partner up for a free trial, and it looks really cool, like a tool that would work well with the way I am budgeting my finances right now. I am excited about the possibilities. If it works for him, I may switch too! (Even though I just upgraded my Quicken.) 6 years ago
I think us working together on this is a big step in the right direction. Thanks, baby! 6 years ago
We are still at the point of trying to make our budgeted spending last all month, and to pay off our joint debts. But we have been dreaming: of being able to save together, and what we will save for; of being able to make charitable contributions together, and what causes we will give to. I am looking forward to the time when we can implement our plans! 7 years ago
When he falls short financially, I have usually loaned him money and kept careful records of his repayments. While I don’t want to be a sap, I feels ikky to tally our finances like this. This month I agreed to help out, but refused to make it a loan. Instead, I offered the money as a gift. I think this is a step in the right direction. At the very least, it’s a different direction! 7 years ago
He’s been really stressed and focused on our upcoming move (and the recent loss of his dog and grandmother)... and instead of working from home like he usually does, he’s been packing and taking long baths and exercising and in general taking better care of himself. Which is all really, really great.
But one day the rent will have to get paid, and I want to know how. In the past I might have just worried about it without asserting my need for there to be some action on the finances front. This feels healthier, and it feels like we are more of a team. 7 years ago
We went over for a few things; I guess I need to check our spending weekly against the budget to help us stay on track. But overall we were $67 under our budgeted spending. Yay for us! 7 years ago
Yay! I present my first draft at our money meeting tomorrow and we’ll go from there. I think this will help a lot.
I put some of our utilities on the averaged monthly payment plans, so that should make things easier to predict, no matter what the weather is like. 7 years ago
I guess we don’t like to talk about money, so it’s great to have this regular time set aside. We had a really productive meeting tonight.
Our agenda was really long and there were lots of details we needed to talk about. At first we felt overwhelmed and decided to skip everything but the visioning. But after spending 20 minutes or so dreaming about how we’d like to manage our money and what we’d like to do with it, we were so energized nothing could stop us from plowing through all the little details in just 5 more minutes.
Next action steps: I will create a budget for our joint account and present it at our next meeting on the 20th, and sweetie will research the MVelope online finance tool (that I first heard about here on 43things) and report on his findings. Oh, and after I create the budget I will be rewarded with a massage. Up with carrots, down with sticks! 7 years ago
In my Quicken file, that is. We’ll start with that. Then tonight we have a money meeting to agree on a common set of budget/spending categories for use in the all-encompassing Quicken file. 7 years ago
We’ll still have separate bank accounts (and a joint one), but this way we can more easily look at the big picture of our finances together. Seems like a step in the right direction. I’m excited. 7 years ago
Regular conversations about money definitely seem like a step in the right direction towards teamwork. Last night’s meeting went really well. I didn’t bring up every anxiety about money that has crossed my mind in the last month, just some practical requests. And it looks like we’ve got pretty much everything covered, for the first time in several months. Just look what a little teamwork can do! 7 years ago
Perhaps some T-shirts with our team name on them would be in order. Or sweatbands, to make us look sexy and to prevent sweat from running into our eyes with all that hardcore thinking about money. 7 years ago
(from “Figure out a way to manage our joint finances”)
Really I don’t want just our joint finances to be managed; I want us to work together and be a team. However, my frustrations and impatience have been getting in the way. I need to change my ways, and I need to do it as soon as possible. 7 years ago
like rent, utilities, household expenses and entertainment. He takes care of getting all the bills in the mail on time, and this is my job.
Just having a rough idea of how much we’re spending will make it much easier to make sure the money’s in our joint account when we need it. 7 years ago
But, when I balanced all my accounts last week all the way back to the time we moved in together, I saw that something else was happening. Turns out he owes the household a bunch of money, to balance what I’ve been spending. We made a plan for bringing this back into balance. 8 years ago
Sweetie is paying all the bills (on time, bless him! Way to go, Flashboy!), but he needs that little paper reminder in the mail once a month. 8 years ago
FlashThe best thing I could have done: back off a little, stop trying to manage everything all by myself
My partner doesn’t like my system, which uses Quicken. I, of course, do—but not so much that I’m willing to do everything myself. So we’re just talking alot about money: the balance in the joint account, who spent how much on the joint card, who needs to transfer money into the joint account to cover expenditures. It seems much higher maintenance than the system I use for my own finances. But my sweetie is engaged in the process, and it feels like we are working together to make sure we get the bills paid, don’t overdraw, etc. Great!
I wouldn’t say we’re there yet. Eventually I’d like to get all the bills set up to automatically transfer out of that account, so we don’t have to worry about missing one. We’re still getting into the swing of things. But we’re definitely on the way. 8 years ago
... but I cut them all up years ago. I just called and ordered new ones. So, a tank of gas every six months can go on the cards and be paid off at the end of the month.
And this will help me buy a house (by improving my credit rating). What a weird world we live in. 8 years ago
We talked to them for over an hour and made plans for all our financial goals, including saving more (I opened a CD account), paying off debt (sweetie might get a low-interest debt consolidation loan), improving credit ratings so we can buy a house someday (we learned about their mortgage program), and finally, our day-to-day cash flow needs (we now have the joint account with overdraft protection). This is going to help alot!
Now to figure out how much we need in the joint account per month (I think I can look at records in Quicken and find a monthly average since we moved in together) and start using the joint account. Then, make a new budget and stick to it!8 years ago