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Getting Married and Combining Money

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

One of my and my husband's financial goals after marriage is living on one income and saving the other. The first step to that is starting to combine our finances, and it's a headache!

I've been reading this blog post and seeing if I could get some insight on the best way to do this:

Text is Should Married Couples Combine Finances? and Link is http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/should-married-couples-combine-finances.html
Should Married Couples Combine Finances?

I have friends who are married and still keep all their finances separate. Then again, combining everything is not a feasible option either bc I have so many different accounts and investments and property in my name.

I think for now the yours, mine and our approach would work best. We decided to start out with a joint household account to which we will both contribute. We will pay the mortgage, utilities and food out of it, and also contribute savings into the linked savings account.

We decided to go with ING Electric Orange and the linked Money Market for this. I was interested in this account since I've read about it a while back. I gladly trade the ability to write paper checks for earning even a small interest on my checking account balance.

I'm taking charge of the bill paying ofcourse, bc I'm a nerd like that. We do discuss what we're doing and what we're spending, and he is very thrifty like me, so that helps.

How do you manage money in your marriage, and does it work for you? Do you have any advice on for a young couple just starting out together?

Our wedding budget

October 20th, 2008 at 11:42 am

I finally sat down and updated our wedding budget now that all expenses have been paid. Here is a run down of how we did it with a guest list of 45:

Invitations, thank-yous,programs, website: $150
I designed and printed our own, and created our website myself. Cost was of paper materials, and hosting.

My dress, vail, shoes : $920
got my designer dress for 1/2 off. My mom made my vail since I wanted something simple. Found perfectly matching shoes on final clearance

Hair, makeup, jewelry : $80
went to two of the finest salons in town for trials and was absolutely disappointed. Ended up trying a lady at a local cost cutters who has been doing hair for 30 years. She was amazing, and what a steal!

His suit and shoes : $270
got his 100% wool Ralph Lauren dark steel gray suit at final clearance

Flowers : $980
for church, centerpieces, bouquet, boutonniere, with orchids, calla lilies, roses

Photographers: $1000
included 2 photographers shooting a 2 hour engagement session and 6 hours on the wedding day.

Decorations: $300
large custom frames for wedding photos of both of our parents and grandparents. Flower petals and rice. Photo mat. About 500 candles.

Reception: $7500 (partially gifted)
Total splurge. Held at the most pricey place in town, but also the most elegant and beautiful. Had two separate rooms, the patio and lawn reserved. About 10 hours of hors douvres, dinner, desert, cake, open bar, dancing, etc.

Rehearsal dinner: approx $1000 (gifted)
Also a splurge for the best french place in town.

Music $20
We had monster speakers and a large dance hall. I spent this money on itunes, and many hours creating just the right playlists for the ipod. It worked, people danced for 5+ hours!

Church donation: $600
Our service was held at our family church where I grew up, and was extremely special.

Out of pocket total: $10000

We came out right at our budget, and paid cash for our event. The day was so warm and elegant and full of laughter and tears and toasts and good food and dancing: worth absolutely every penny!

We didn't register, since we're trying to pair down, simplify and downsize. Because of that we received cash and some gift cards worth a bit over $15000. We are putting all of it into savings and will use a part of it to pay for our honeymoon over the holidays.

And also:

Now that I've graduated from
Text is theknot.com and Link is http://www.thekotcom
theknot.com to
Text is thenest.com and Link is http://www.thenest.com
thenest.com, I've been reading a lot of articles like this one:

Text is 8 things noone tells you about marriage and Link is http://www.redbookmag.com/print-this/love-sex/advice/marriage/no-one-tells-marriage
8 things noone tells you about marriage - via Redbook

Miss now Mrs

October 16th, 2008 at 09:54 am

A photo I snapped during our honeymoon. I'm so lucky to have places like this a little over an hour away. Looking at this view every morning made us instantly relaxed and happy.

Wow, what a wild ride the past two weeks have been. There is a lot of pressure on your wedding day to be the best day of your life, and while I can't say that with certainty until I'm much much older, it definitely turned out to be the best day of my life so far! I've never cried, laughed, danced and enjoyed myself as much as I did on that beautiful day.

The weather cooperated and gave us a beautiful, warm and sunny, Colorado autumn day. The service was gorgeous, the reception location was breathtaking, the food delicious, the cake gorgeous, the open bar stocked, and the dance floor packed till 12am! It is by far the best and most fun wedding I've been to in my life Smile

Back from our mini-honeymoon in the mountains I am now slowly settling into married life, combining our households, starting the process of changing my name (a headache for an older and independent gal like me), and starting to combine our finances. Each of those topics deserves a post in and of itself, and I will also do a post with our wedding budget numbers that might be of interest to other brides to be out there.

I am still on cloud nine!

On the job front I landed a contracting gig with my former employer and have two interviews this week. Wish me luck!

Pre-Marital Counseling

September 24th, 2008 at 11:46 am

Yesterday was our second pre-marital session with the counselor, and I have to admit I'm liking it more and more each time. We received three sessions as a gift from a family member since our church doesn't offer anything similar. I'm so lucky to be with a guy who is totally open to things like this, and who's invested in our relationship being the best that it can be.

I wasn't sure what to expect going in, in fact I was even a little apprehensive, but it has turned out to be more eye opening than I thought. My fiance and I had no specific issues we needed to address but it was interesting learning about common marital issues and what skills we should have in order to deal with any problems that might arise in the future. The counselor put us at ease right away, and was humorous and lighthearted making opening-up be pretty effortless.

The first session concentrated on our backgrounds, our relationship up till now and our hopes for our future. The counselor talked to us about common problems couples face in the first few years of marriage and asked us how we'd go about solving them if they happened to us.

During the second session we talked in depth about aspects of our relationship that are going well that we'd like to continue, and things we need to work on and need to improve. We also talked about our families and how they express love and communicate and how that is evident in us. This session really reinforced my belief that we have a really solid foundation, and that we're both invested in making this work through thick and thin. It also explained why he and I act a certain way in relationships, mirroring what we saw our parents do.

The third session will be about our expectations of marriage and of each other. We both have a vision of what we'd like our future to be like together, and what we think marriage really means, and we will get to share that with each other. I am looking forward to it.

It has been a fulfilling experience so far and it is interesting talking with someone who is an experienced marriage counselor. He has heard about almost every type of problem that married couples can face and he is preparing to us for what can go wrong and what we can do to prevent it. I'd definitely recommend something like this to every couple in the midst of wedding planning.

Trimming the Wedding Budget

September 22nd, 2008 at 09:11 am

With the layoff last week still a fresh wound, it was time to revisit the wedding budget and see if there was anything to trim.

W-Day is less than two weeks away and most things are already paid for, but I was able to trim down a few things this weekend:

* moved the hair trial and appt to a cheaper salon ($120)
* Doing my own makeup now ($75)
* Honeymoon is downgraded to three days and to a closer location ($300)
* photographers are down to three hours, ($100). I'm bringing my SLR, and asking guests to take pictures as well.
* I have the option to take back my favors which would save about $60, but I'm not sold on this yet...

Last day of work is the 1st of the month and they are keeping me as busy as ever. I'm not plunging myself into the jobsearch as much as I should because the wedding is taking all my free time and energy. Just trying to take it one thing at a time.