I had two awesome questions on my latest post about combining finances so I wanted to share them in their own post. Your comments always make me think about angles I had never even considered before! I <3 you all.
Question #1 is from Daisy:
“Was combining your finances always something you knew you’d do, or was it a hard decision?”
Awesome question! Since I’ve never really answered this question before, I’m sure many readers are wondering the same thing!
The decision to combine finances actually came after we learned a lot about personal finance and we had done some major clean-up of our finances. I had always assumed that we would combine finances when we got married, but G took a little convincing.
First of all, he got some, uh, bad advice from a friend of a friend of a friend of an acquaintance of a friend (or something like that). This person said something to the effect of, “Keep your finances separate. It’s the best thing I ever did for my relationship.”
Um, yeah. No judgment, but the quoted person may or may not have the best financial habits … so, there’s that. Anyyyyways.
Second of all, I think G may have come into our relationship thinking that many women have bad spending habits. I cleared that miscommunication up pretty quickly. 😉
I think after G realized that I don’t get too jazzed up about blowing $500 on a Coach purse (that’d give me a hernia, not excitement) and that I wasn’t a compulsive shopper, he realized it was for the best. We also listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey’s talk show and he is a huge advocate of combining finances. I have always agreed with combining finances and G finally sees the light, too.
I think another big part of this decision was growing up. We spend much more wisely now that we’re older and I think that just tends to happen with age. Also, seriously, can you imagine when you have kids?! It’d go something like this:
- A: “Can you buy some diapers on the way home?”
- G: “I bought diapers last time. It’s your turn to buy diapers.”
- A: “Uhhh, okay. Well, I guess Baby G will just go to the bathroom wherever he/she wants then …”
Yeah, that would drive me nuts.
Question #2 is from Well-Heeled (one of my fav bloggers of all all time, btw):
“What if one of you have family members that require much more financial help than the other person’s? How do you decide what part of your joint financial resources go to whom?”
Another awesome question. In my opinion, the answer isn’t even about combined finances. It’s about joint decision-making. When we get married, our money will be 100% ours, 100% joint finances. In addition, our families will no longer be “your family” and “my family”, they will all be “our” family.
In this situation, we would talk it out and decide together if we wanted to help that family member financially. At that point, the question would be more of how much, how, and when. It wouldn’t come out of one of our two pots of money, because we’ll just have one pot of money.
Making joint decisions is probably an even touchier subject that combining finances. Realizing that you can’t just make a decision to help a loved one financially on your own (like saying – oh my aunt is sick, I think I’ll give her some money), is a tough pill to swallow for many people. G and I will have to learn to talk through each situation and make a joint decision before taking action. (Which will be tough for both of us. I like to make decisions. Remember my ridiculously unrealistic required rate of progression that I talked about back when we were combining phone plans?) Dang, I’m not even married and I’m already thinking it’s gonna be tough! Hopefully, if I’m we’re lucky, I’ll we’ll never have to make a decision to help a relative out financially.
Now it’s your turn: How would YOU answer Daisy and Well-Heeled’s questions?
P.S. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!