We had our first meeting with the pastor. I found the experience to be very helpful as well as eye-opening. We didn’t really discover anything we didn’t already know, but it did open the door for us to discuss some of the things that came up in the meeting.
One important – and money-related – topic was the issue of family finances. We both had marked “needs work” next to this category when filling out our strengths and weaknesses worksheet. The main reason we listed it as needing work, was because we had not yet discussed how we plan to handle our finances once we are wedded.
Many people have offered advice on the subject. We’ve heard everything from “keep separate accounts”, to “combine everything”, and “keep a joint account in addition to separate accounts”…
What it all comes down to is the fact that Brett and I are both fairly traditional people. We’re conservative in most of our beliefs and tend to agree on most subjects. We discussed our finances generally during the trip back from my hometown and came to the same conclusion… by uniting ourselves in marriage we feel that we will be sharing everything from now on, including bank accounts. As Brett so eloquently put it, “there’s no more mine and yours… just ours”. Once my laughter subsided I agreed whole-heartedly. (I relate most things to books and movies and this particular comment reminded me of a favorite Henry Fonda/Lucille Ball classic film called “Yours, Mine, and Ours” and Brett’s comment just sounded so much like Henry’s character that I had to laugh.)
It seems to me that if you start a marriage trying to keep finances separate then you risk having trouble uniting from that point forward. It’s like you’re always preparing for a big crash. However, I can’t condemn the married couples I know that make it work with separate accounts or a mixture of accounts. Just because I think it will be harder, doesn’t mean it can’t work. I just believe very firmly in presenting a united front – and as of September 25th (and really for the last year or so) I will be making all major purchasing decisions with the aide of Brett.