How we’re handling our finances – Part 1

Natanya + Simeon

When Simeon and I announce our vows on June 14 we will be uniting our hearts and our household. Indeed, we become officially united under California state law when we sign our marriage certificate. As we merge our hopes and dreams, so too we begin to share our assets and liabilities like never before.

I’ve always been curious how newly married couples choose to face their finances and what guidelines drive their decision making. A couple months ago, sensing this topic was far to great to handle on my our own, I signed us up for the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University offered in our area. We begin in early July just after our honeymoon.

I have some idea what to expect from the class: I know we’ll be in a room with many other couples and guided through a series of topics on financial wellness and wealth building over a number of months. I could easily read all the steps online or in Dave’s books but I know that for me, in person learning and group accountability make for a more positive environment in which to manage the changes we will undoubtedly need to make to our money habits.

Beyond the class, Simeon and I have laid the groundwork we think is necessary for a rich life – in every meaning of the word. To pinpoint the specifics, here’s what we’re starting with:

〉 We have had numerous conversation in which we’ve shared our individual and family goals with one another, and how we imagine we might achieve them based on our current and foreseeable income.

〉 We’ve discussed how we see children playing into the picture and what we want regarding childcare, work adjustments, and long term career plans. We agreed on most everything regarding how we will split the work for household maintenance and child rearing (as much as we can at this point) and are looking ahead excitedly about our future with kids.

 We will keep separate bank accounts where our direct deposits land and which will allows us the freedom to spend our own money as we wish. Side bonus: secret gifts to each other are kept secret! 🙂

 We have opened a shared account that we both have equal access to and that will be used for all shared expenses: rent, food, vacations, and the like. Since Simeon currently nets a lot more than I do, we’ve agreed to split many of the bills in a way that feels more fair to our income levels.

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It’s so thrilling to be on this journey and I’m happy to share our twists and turns in case it is helpful or at least interesting to you. If you have any questions, let me know. I’d also love to hear how you handled or plan to handle shared finances! Finances are usually so taboo to talk about but I’ve been inspired by Kelsey and her and her husband’s openness with their financial picture as they build a family, overcome debt, and plan for the future. It gives a lot of great perspective. Plus, in an effort to be more transparent in life, I’m pleased to share how we’re handling this very large and important topic.

photo by Heather Elizabeth Photography