Monday, August 17, 2009

Review of Financially Ever After

Mr. T was amazed that I was reading a financial book of my own accord, but this one was recommended on Offbeat Bride, so I checked it out of the library.

This was an excellent book; very well-written and full of useful tips. Of course, most of the questions he says to ask your partner have already long since been discussed in our household, but I didn't mind the review. Perhaps more useful to me were his thoughts on joint bank accounts: don't do it till after you're married, which we haven't. His other opinion was that having one joint bank account offers the most financial transparency in the relationship. He offered that you could each keep your own individual account, but that having the joint one, period, keeps everyone honest and is more of an investment into the partnership of the marriage. Mr. T and I have been debating about this and it's likely we'll combine our finances into one joint checking and several joint savings, depending on what we're saving for--vacation, emergency fund, yearly expenses, etc. One thing that this seems to preclude is surprising each other with gifts, though. I'd be curious to hear how you all manage this in your relationships: One account? Three accounts? If it's one, how do you surprise each other? With a credit card purchase? Even that's tricky, assuming you have transparency when paying the cc bills...

Regardless, buying gifts for each other isn't any kind of reason not to combine finances, so we're probably going for the one joint account.

The book also has a section on how to create a household budget, which I took notes on! Mr. T and I have not had to really formally budget for a household, and I think it's a good idea when two people are dipping into the same bank account. I volunteered to do this since I do budgets for work and I've also been keeping up our wedding budget.

Anyway, the book offers much, much more and I totally recommend this one to any couples--married or to-be married--who want a healthy financial future.


bilunabirotunda said...

Interesting. Maybe I should read it too! Erik and I have, get ready for it, 6 accounts! Joint checking, joint savings, individual checking and savings. We calculated (and periodically redo) about how much we'd need for joint expenses each month, and how much proportionally each of us makes - we both contribute that way to the joint accounts and keep the personal stuff separate. I think this works well if the two of you have different spending habits, which we do. It means we aren't looking over each others' shoulders at every little purchase for ourselves.

And I don't think it means we're less invested (ha ha) in the relationship - just that, you know, you both do need your own space from time to time.

Pica Maloria said...

Wow - thanks for the great review! I think I'll check that out as well. I'm *terrible* with budgeting and finances.