Alright ladies and gents, this is my last post about how Neill and I handle finances. I've dished on the money situation when we dated and then when we moved in together. In this post, I want to share how we are handling things now that we are married.
For Neill and I, being open and honest with each other about our finances and our financial goals is VERY important. So, we've been having lots and lots of frank conversations about spending, saving, and goal setting. We try to be 100% transparent with one another and we've decided to take a big step that will help us with this.
In my last post, I mentioned that we opened up a joint saving account a while ago that we've used in addition to each of our personal saving accounts. Now, however, having our individual accounts just doesn't seem to feel right anymore. Even though both of us have said that whatever we save individually is really for us, we want to make that thought a reality. So, just last week we totally revamped our organization. With this new set-up neither one of us will keep a personal savings account. We'll only put money into our joint savings. This certainly wasn't something I would have wanted to do when I first moved in or even when we first got married, but right now it makes the most sense for us.
We decided to keep a total of two joint savings accounts so that we can save money for different purposes. One is a Save for a Rainy Day Account. This is our six month emergency fund that is not to be touched unless we have . . . an emergency. The second is a Save to Spend Account. This is where we can save for vacations or a new piece of furniture. The only catch? Our numbers aren't quite where we would like them to be. So, we've started a competition to get into savings gear. We each have a savings goal (different, to accommodate our salary difference) and the first person to reach their goal wins 500 dollars out of the Save to Spend account.
A bonus of merging our savings is that it motivated us to finally set up an emergency fund. We've always known where we might pull money from if we found ourselves in a dire situation, but this is the first time actually setting that money aside and working to see the number go up. I'm really excited about our new plan because I feel like we are a bajiliion steps closer to following through on our new years resolution to be financially secure.
I don't have any secrets to successfully negotiating finances in a relationship, but communicating and being flexible seem to really help. Since we both keep an eye on our finances and discuss them pretty regularly we are able to realize when something just isn't working. And, we aren't afraid to switch things up a bit. Who knows? Maybe in another year we'll decide to merge our checking accounts, although I must admit that idea doesn't appeal to either Neill or I right now.
Finances can be a touchy subject to talk about and I think the uneasiness surrounding money-talk makes it extra difficult for couples. So, I thought I'd quiet that little voice in my head that says discussing money isn't appropriate and lay it all out there for everyone. I hope you've enjoyed reading about how Neill and I handle finances and I'd love to hear more from you about how you handle money in your relationships! What are your thoughts on merging finances completely? Do you keep a private saving account? What motivates you to save money?