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Merging takes baby steps

January 23rd, 2007 at 11:59 am

When I was living alone independently, I had set up the 40/60 plan (10-Tithe, 10-Retirment, 10-EF, 10-Savings, 60-Living cost) for myself and it took awhile to get on that path regularly.

Most of you already know I am to be married in May of this year and trying to merge finance goals with my fiancé. We decided to keep our own accounts and will have a joint account for living things to take things slowly and see how it can work for us.

I am finding that my fiancé is eager to share but fiancé's habits are not matching the mental goals. Learning from my experience, it takes time for habits to form.

I am doing my best to not nag to him and try to quiet fully encourage him rather expect things to go my way. He has not done research and really never thought much about money. He is very simple and buys what he needs only which is not much except he pays as he goes to fix his much needed help on his house.

I am giving him much credit for being open minded to some of my suggestions and he has been writing down everything he buys every day so I can get an idea where he stand. There is no budget set up or anything and I informed this is only just to see on paper what he does and then after a few months, we can set up a budget that would fit both of our needs.

I want so badly to set up a budget and everything but I am sitting tight on my hands. I don't want to overwhelm things and be pushy. I just keep reminding myself "baby steps".

He is really open to opening a Roth IRA but will need my help to get started which I am gladly to. Funny he says he can not even afford to pay the max... (I personally know he can but "again baby steps" and informed him he can send as little as he can each month.

I keep smiling because I want our home life to be enjoyable and not stressed out. I also want him to feel free to talk to me about anything he wants without hesitating how I will react.

On a side note: We successfully saved more than enough for our wedding already. We are three months advance with all cash payments. I recently nixed the photographer so the original plan of $7000 of the entirity of wedding costs including our rings is going to be lower. I figure with the days of digital cameras, I am sure we are bound to find some good pictures from our guests and family members. I really do not want so many pictures and certainly not of me getting dressed in my dress. Actually, our wedding budget will be much lower because both of our family spontaneously surprised us with a gift of $2500 to contribute for the wedding. So it’s starting to look more like $4000 on our end more or less on our part instead of $7k.

Maybe I can convince him to put the extra money from the wedding expense towards his Roth IRA?!?!?!

7 Responses to “Merging takes baby steps”

  1. librarylady Says:

    Hi and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
    I have been married 32 years and I highly recommend it.

    The one thing I have for advise is, go to some pre-marriage counseling.
    A good counselor will surely talk about money and many other helpful topics.

    My husband and I did not do this, but it is a really good idea.
    Good luck,

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I think that is great that you are not breaking the bank on your wedding. I know how you feel. Thankfully, my husband just said here's my paycheck, just handle it. He does not want the work involved and I enjoy it and I think you do too. I always think the best person with money should handle it.
    I think using the wedding money for his IRA is a good idea too.

  3. fern Says:

    Sounds like you are being very conscious of trying to introduce smart $$ habits to him gradually and without pressure. Congrats on the pending nuptials! Youre' doing fine.

    Maybe at some point you might feel him out to see if he might even prefer you to handle all the finances, like Ima does for her and her husband.

  4. gruntina Says:

    librarylady - Wow! 32 years so far is awesome! Congratulation.
    Our pastor did mention finance in marriage. But it was too simple and basic. He recommended starting with 10% tithing and then try %10 percent savings. I feel I am more advanced than that. I don't blame the pastor for coming up with that because so many people at church struggle with money in general and do not have savings plan.

    Ima and Fern - I would love to have my fiancé give me his paychecks. He even joked about it saying he would do that. I think he needs time to "let go" of his individual lifestyle and fully give me his paycheck. It would be a huge adjustment for him since he is not used to tracking his money or having someone else tracking his spending habits. I hope I don't have to wait too long for it to happen.

  5. scfr Says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming merger! No, it is not easy but it is so worth it.

    Have you ever checked out the companion workbook to the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich"? [BTW - reread the title of that book and then look at my user name.] It has a lot of exercises you can do together as a couple that will not only help you understand where the other person is coming money-wise, but also help you define some clear goals that you both can agree on.

    My husband & I have been married almost 14 years, and like many other couples represented here on the board, we are living proof that financial harmony in a marriage is possible.

  6. fern Says:

    I think it's wise as you said to give your husband time to get used to living as part of a couple.

    You can imagine how that will be for me, if i ever marry, after living 47 years as a single woman! I am VERY used to managing my own finances and it would be very hard for me to get used to the idea of "our" money and shared accounts. I worked so hard for what i have it would be hard to relinquish control, even if my SO has more $$ or assets than me.

  7. LuxLiving Says:

    Gruntina - the proof is in the pudding as they say. Once he sees that you are respectful of his person and feelings and in no way greedy, grabby or pushy he will most likely feel all the more willing to let you handle finances as long as you do a good job at it.

    I handle ours now and it's much better - it is my hobby as well as our financial future so I'm the more informed party. Part of making this successful is sitting down once or twice a month and having a briefing of what's going on with the money, what's coming up that we need to handle, where refunds are expected, how much will we need for X, type of discussions.

    I tell The Hubster when the checkbook and budget balances and update him frequently on where his retirement accounts stand. I also inform him of when we're getting off track and need to reign in. He doesn't want all the gory details, just the highlights. But some of that can come with time as your fiance becomes used to being part of a couple with you and understanding that you aren't a gold-digger and just want to help further your joint goals. His part if he chooses to accept this format is to not spend until he checks w/his bookkeeper and to turn in receipts!

    It does take time and it sounds like you are cognizant of the fact that it does and are trying to make a slow but goal-oriented transition - you'll get there!

    Good luck!

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