Monday, January 08, 2007

A Fiscal Union

Today my money got married to my husband's money. January 8, 2007. What a great anniversary date.

They've been living together for quite awhile but after the house came along, it was decided that they really need to be living in the same bank account. At least part of it - the part that takes care of the things that take care of all of us. The other part that takes care of me alone continues to live the single life and is happily out there multiplying and gaining dividends.

Mr. T and I have been married for 5 years and even though we got money as wedding gifts, the most we did then was open a joint CD. That ended up paying a crazy tax bill we did not expect our first year because we were still figuring out how to declare ourselves at our individual jobs for the maximum benefit of us all. Mr. T. has always been great with his money and mine was off track for awhile when I first got out of college, then it got back into the black - until I got married.

If you are planning to get married and don't know this already, let me assure you, 2 incomes does not necessarily an overflowing bank account make. Somehow you end up with less. I suppose in our case it was because the rent went up when Mr. T. moved into my apartment. Utilities rise with more adults in a home. Things happen in marriage that don't seem to have alone. It took another couple of years to get the money back on track again and we've reached a place where I suppose we finally trust each other financially now that we've lived it as opposed to watched it from afar all the years before.

So we called my banker and did everything on the phone and via mail and presto! What he and I have joined together, let no foolish behavior put asunder.

It takes awhile to get on one accord with someone. I had a friend recently ask me about this because she's talking marriage with her boyfriend. I told her the truth about how we've done it so far. She's a smart one. I'm sure she'll do better than I did. After all she bought a condo in her 20s and I think that's a smart move. And yes, though I am a Christian and don't necessarily believe in jumping to divorce when things get hard, I also don't believe it necessary to tie up all your money together, if only because do you really want to have to discuss EVERY little move you make with your partner because the money is coming from a joint account?

Frankly, things happen, even in the best of marriages. I've seen what can happen when women put all their money in their man's hands and act like they no longer need to worry. I think THAT is foolish. I have my own, as does he, and now we'll have one together because it just makes sense since we're both contributing to the household. We're beneficiaries in the places that don't have both our names and now that we've found a lawyer we both like, we'll get the wills squared away, which we should have been done when the first child came along. But it's taken 5 years to get this far.

I'd say our money has had a really great courtship, especially since my credit has had the chance to get back where it should be and should be as perfect as his in another year. We're looking forward to that perfection making it possible to build the next house, as we wanted to do all along. Maybe even to buy another one or two to help finance the kids' futures.

No matter how wonderful your pre-marital relationship may be, I believe once you do marry, it takes time to get in sync with someone on many if not all levels, and it's nice that we've finally reached that place.

1 comment:

Looney Mom said...

I think that's a great plan. I love your analogy. Very cute. The fiscal union. LOL!