Saver mentality; spender by necessity. *sigh*
2. What are your financial goals?
To always have exact change.
It's a very simple and modest goal, but to actually manage properly is insanely difficult. =)
3. Do you consider going to the movies and having a vacation every year a necessity or a luxury?
We don't pay for movies. We use the free double-pass-plus-popcorn-and-drinks from my VISA reward points. And Work gives me free stuff once in a while from their hillion-jillion company credit card reward points.
We're not really the travelling types. My parents didn't go anywhere for over 20 years. Our first "family vacation" was a 4-day Canadian Rockies Tour when I was 21.
4. Who is going to be responsible for making sure that bills are paid on time?
The process goes:
- all the bills are in his name with me as a secondary contact
- I pay the bills online out of the joint account
- I put it on his desk
- when there's a big enough pile on the desk, he will take it all and calculate how much the Brother-in-Law Dude owes us
- then all the paid and squared away bills get filed
That's with ours and Mother-In-Law's stuff. She pays us back all at once when she gets back into town. We don't really have to worry about them being paid on time because I log in and fire off the payment online right away. If I waited any longer than that, we'd have no ceiling left.
We pay our own personal cell phone and credit card bills.
5. How do you decide as a couple how much and what to spend your money on?
But if we don't really need it, then the question is, did we plan for this and put away extra for it? Do we have enough for it? Do we both want it? We'd been together for almost a decade before we actually merged finances, so we handle most of it like roommates. It works.
Bonus Question: How much money from your family finances should you or your partner be able to spend without the other's permission? How did you arrive at this?
None. Neither of us spends anything out of the joint account without telling the other. And this wasn't a rule that resulted from a bad incident, we naturally fell into this behaviour from the beginning. It just made sense to us. Person A will pay for things with A's own money first and then Person B will reimburse half if it's a larger amount or pay for something else to even it out if it's a smaller amount. And if B doesn't want to share it, then that's just A's tough beans. A is stuck paying for all of it. We either ask first or be prepared to foot the whole cost.
We'll mention significant spending out of our individual accounts to each other as well. Not because of any disclosure requirement in the marriage, but out of concern for each other. It helps us both guard against emotional, impulsive spending. Maybe there's another way to do things or there might be a cheaper alternative. For example, wedding expenses were best run by the both of us. It's a well-known fact that the wedding industry will play on a bride's emotional state and make her feel like her marriage depends on spending ten times as much for something. And there was an instance of what amounted to extortion from one of his family members. He didn't think much of paying that fabricated fee because it was his family. I, however, shat a donkey.