The current count down is 52 days until our wedding. Actually, that's until the wedding reception. My fiance, Chris, and I decided to get married in June. I wanted to do it on the first day of summer, June 21. We're still trying to plan that bit out.
I came across an interesting article in the NY Times a while back (mid-May). I finally got around to sharing it. In Marriage, the Unseen Bottom Line - it's interesting to me how many women do not want to be involved with the household finances or don't want to share their spending information with their spouses. Growing up, my mom and stepdad seemed to have that relationship. He makes the money, she spends it. I never heard them take about money or finances in front of us. I can tell you that my mom is still a mess with her personal finances and my family end up giving her money to make ends meet.
I find that extremely stressful. Not only am I trying to start my own family, but I have to take care of my mom financially because she can't or won't make the spending cuts necessary to keep within a budget. On my last trip to my mom's house in April, I opened my mom's fridge and it was packed to the brim with food. Mind you that until my sister came home from gallivanting around London and Bangkok, my mom was living by herself. Yet here was her fridge, full of food enough for a family of 10. I'm not kidding. Most of the stuff goes bad before she eats it. I've experienced this weird food hoarding with other families, so she's not the only one. I just want to help her cut back on her food spending, but I don't know how.
Back to our soon-to-be family. Chris and I are open about our spending. For the most part, I take care of paying the utility bills and rent and Chris reimburses me at the end of the month. We both go grocery shopping, usually together. All of our joint spending is catalogued on Splitwise.com. This includes grocery, utility bills, rent, laundry, household goods - pretty much anything that's bought that will be used by both of us. If anything, it keeps our spending balanced.
We still maintain our own personal checking and savings account, but we also opened a joint savings account. When I first met Chris, he didn't have a savings account with a balance. Over the past 6 months he has been able to save $2000. I was his cheerleader and financial support system. I had suggested to him to have at least $1000 in savings before tackling his credit card debt with extra payments. We also have a money jar that we put in our $5 bills. The last time the jar was full we bought our dining room table with the money. It's great when we both participate and contribute to the same goals.
I like to think we are helping each other. I'm helping him to be more aware of his personal finance and he's helping me live in the moment and be more in tune with myself. So far, so good.