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Big Conversations

December 7th, 2015 at 02:38 pm

So DH and I had the "big talk" as far as money goes. It was exhausting and upsetting, but I think ended just as it needed to. I think we both had a much better understanding of how the other feels, and there was a bit of soul searching that needed to happen on both of our parts.

Money is awkward. And tied up in so many emotions. My primary thought is that I want to handle our finances (such a large part of our life) as a team and not compartmentalize and treat things as "his" money and "my" money - an easier position to take given I make drastically less money than he does. So his aversion to paying everything out of our joint account came off to me like he's not in it, or doesn't trust me, or several other hurtful messages (not that I think he intended any of that). What I hadn't really realized is that he felt very unappreciated for the amount of support that he's given me up to this point. There's no doubt whatsoever that my being able to run my business rather than working a more traditional job (and enjoy a rather amazing quality of life) is because he is willing to cover a greater share.

What I didn't realize is that I do a pretty poor job of voicing my appreciation of that fact - so in the end, I'm not really recognizing his contribution to the "team" as well as I should. So no wonder he's entirely comfortable. There's work to be done on both sides. But, of course, that's marriage.

It's going to take a LOT of transition and getting used to. But we did agree to put all of our money into the one account and use that to funnel it out toward expenses. I'm not sure if we'll end up keeping our separate accounts open or not - I suppose I'd like to in case we want to buy gifts or a surprise or something, but I guess we can do that on our credit cards as well.

So that conversation also came with a breakdown of our total expenses and I'm going to end up setting up some sort of a budgeting system. I don't think he really "believes" in budgeting, but after taking a look at what we'll have going out and what our savings goals are, I think he could do with being convinced Wink That exercise is also going to bring to light what I need to make to hit our goals - and will motivate me to do what it takes, even if I have to start a part time job or find some other way to generate income. Particularly now that my business is slowing down. This isn't just me anymore. And I told him that if he feels that I'm not making enough and thinks I should pursue a more traditional job, that's an opinion he's allowed to have and something that we'll decide on together.

He also doesn't really "believe" in savings accounts. He just lets the money sit in his checking account - which is fine, I suppose. He doesn't spend it. But for tracking purposes I tend to like having a way to see the progress a bit more clearly. I guess in that way, I do like a bit of compartmentalization. heh.

So - that's that. I think in the beginning, there's going to need to be a lot of trust built for him to be comfortable. But I know we can do it and get to a point where we are both comfortable and happy with the direction things are moving in.

***

In other news, I've booked two shoots for this week (both proposals), and invoiced a couple of clients that still have outstanding payments. Also went to Trader Joe's and Aldi yesterday to pick up a few things, and made fresh baked bread - which I've been craving for the last week or so. That was really nice

4 Responses to “Big Conversations”

  1. Joan.of.theArch Says:

    That conversation is a huge step in moving forward together.

  2. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    We sort of ended up in the same boat. We actually each agreed to make the decision for ourselves whether we wanted to keep the individual accounts. While we're not officially switching over until we're married, we will pay everything out of our account which DF will change his direct deposit to go straight into. I plan to close my own checking and use our joint for everything whereas he wants to keep his checking. Since I now use YNAB, it'll just be his fun money and transferred into his account. My fun money will just be its own category in our account. Since he never really looks at the details of transactions, I don't have to worry about him spoiling gifts for himself.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    " He just lets the money sit in his checking account - which is fine, I suppose."

    Well, no, it's not really fine. Even checking accounts that earn interest pay out such a minuscule amount, it might as well be nothing.

    Why not keep a certain amount in the checking account to cover your typical bills, and whenever the balance goes much past that, make an online transfer to at online money market or SOMETHING. Because inflation will then take a bite out of your money and you'll wind up losing money.

  4. pjmama Says:

    @PatientSaver - That's a very good point, and one that will likely convince him. He does tie up a bit of his savings in investments, but there's a large chunk that just sits there. Any interest will be better than none. Is there an online money market that you would recommend?

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