Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marriage and finances

Like most Americans these days my husband and I are watching our spending.  We are working hard to chip away at debt and keep credit card charges at a minimum.

We have triumphantly had cash Christmases (nothing charged) for the last few years and it hasn't been an easy task.  It helps that we are both very mindful of what we spend and that our "splurges" are on low cost hobbies/interests.

Over the years I have had an ear full from friends (of both sexes) venting over spouses/significant others over spending or lack of involvement in their finances. 

A close friend managed to convince her husband in to taking some type of couple's money management class.  A great idea, but at the end there was little change.  He took the class like some take electives classes in high school; "for the credit", but absorbing nothing!  My friend ended up continuing to manage all their finances.  Wait, correction to that last statement.  She continues to manage HER finances, he (now her ex-husband) has been forced to manage his finances with the help of the courts! 

When I was very young (early 20's) my boss was a smart, independent and generous with her advice woman.  She put herself thru school on the G.I. bill, managed her finances enough to be able to invest on rental properties and at a young age of 30 was financially secure.  A great role model. 

Not long after I met her she married (another accountant) and her husband took charge of their finances putting her on a strict allowance.  I found that very difficult to hear, even more when he would review what she spent her allowance on.

I understood how one partner can have stronger financial management skills than the other but she was constantly stressed over it, especially when his criticizing over the spending of her allowance totally deflated her.  It was like being scolded by a parent.

I made a mental note that when and if I married I would make sure finances were something that was SHARED and any "spending money" allotted would be guilt free and not open to discussion!!

Since my husband and I married later in life we both came with debt.  I could have easily volunteered to take care of it all since accounting is what I do for a living, but honestly I found it more comfortable to share.

After we got engaged we opened a joint checking and savings account.  We both fund our "house" account and pay from it all of our living expenses which many are set up to auto pay.  No real work there.  We also both fund our savings account.  Each is in charge of paying  their own debt; credit cards, student loans, cars etc! There is no "honey you forgot to pay"...  I feel that it keeps each "hands on".  When it comes to "managing" our money, we discuss strategy; where we can cut costs, which debts we should try to pay off first based on balance and interest rates, and such. 

We have been pretty happy keeping things "separate".  There are NO joint credit cards!  We both had some bad experiences on past relationships.  One walked away from a relationship with all the debt (a small price to pay for freedom).  The other suffered with a partner who constantly spent more than they earned.

So far it's been working for us.  We haven't made any large purchases like a home, but we are working together towards freeing up our credit and other short term goals.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Holiday shuffle

Like most couples my husband and I take turns spending holidays with our respective families.  With my side of the family in San Antonio and Laredo Tx and his side of the family in Midland and Bryan Tx we travel in every direction of the state to celebrate holidays. 

This year my in-laws drove from their home in Midland east to Bryan Tx to spend Mother's Day at my brother-in-law's home.  We took a one day trip yesterday to celebrate early with them so we could be back to celebrate with my mother today.  It was perfect!  We usually take turns spending the full holiday weekend but with my in-laws saving us the 5 hour drive to Midland we could squeeze two celebrations in one weekend. 

I am sure my sister and brother in-law are grateful they don't have to haul 2 kids across Texas in a car to visit family on the holiday. My husband's parents visit his brother more often because of the grand kids, and until we produce some grand babies we will continue to play second fiddle. 8-)

Hope you are all able to celebrate with family this holiday.  Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Smart ass conversations

Ever since we decided to get married my husband and I have been on "savings"mode.  After our wedding and because of the extra expense of commuting back and forward (for work) between cities we have kept some of the same "savings" habits.

Our biggest way to curb our spending has been packing lunches.  As most of you know a half-decent lunch these days will run about $12.00, so the money we both save during a week is substantial when added up. 

Thursday I was running around as usual, half asleep (even after my morning shower) trying to get myself out the door particularly early when my honey asked if I would like him to pack some leftover spaghetti for my lunch.  I was planning on taking the new accountant in my department out to lunch so I told him so.  About a minute later he stepped through the door way as I was finishing putting on make up in the bathroom and said: "you went out to lunch on Monday". 

It took me by surprise his statement and mostly his tone of reproach.  I guess the look on my face told him something because he went on and said: "you had Chinese and didn't tell me".  I could clearly tell he was being playful (way too early for me) but I wondered how he knew so I asked him.  He said: "I found a credit card receipt on the kitchen counter".

I quickly thought back and realized I must have left out the receipt when I pulled things out looking thru my purse. Again his tone or reproach, "you had Chinese for lunch and didn't tell ME!" (Batting his eyelashes)  Being the smart ass that I am and to push a button I responded: "Baby, I don't tell you every time I go out to lunch or spend money. Just be thankful it wasn't a hotel receipt" and I smirked, turned and walked in to the closet.

Being a smart ass himself my husband poked his head around the corner and said to me: "you forget those get paid with CA$H".

These are our morning conversations. Playful/smart ass remarks to each other before we dart out the door.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blogger M.I.A.

I feel like I have been neglecting yet another thing in my life.  It's been a busy, battling with my allergies, working late, and thankfully squeezing in a bit of fun with friends couple of weeks.  The only thing I haven't done is make time to write!
So a quick recap: I finally spent time working on the yard/flower beds last weekend.  We were out making what seemed all the possible noise we could before 8 a.m weeding and mowing the lawn. NO we were not out to have our neighbors hate us. That was just a bonus; a bit of payback for noisy kids playing out side our bedroom window the weekend prior.   It was just the only time we could fit in the work (that weekend) to keep the home owners association from contacting us with "helpful hints" of how to keep our garden looking spiffy!  Nosy bastards!

Of course working in the yard and spending time outdoors triggered my allergies so I was miserable for at least 3 full days before the meds kicked in.  It made working long hours at the office even more miserable and thank goodness for my husband who took care of things at home while I was temporarily disabled.

On a more fun note, we partook on one of the many "Fiesta Events" going on in San Antonio (Texas) in the Spring. We attended St.Mary's University's "Oyster Bake".  My husband graduated from their law school and I have been enjoying that particular event for years. They always book great local bands and the food is without saying wonderful!  I don't know why but food on a stick is always good (sausage, chicken, corndog etc -- ON A STICK) and I eathing such always makes me think of Jeff Dunham with his JalapeƱo puppet "on a stick".