December 3rd, 2016 was the day my wife Kaleigh and I said, “I do” and began our journey of marriage. This year marks our 4th anniversary! We really enjoy being married and certainly find navigating life together more fun and fulfilling than going through it separately, but with that merging of life we also merged our finances. Most couples have differing expectations about managing money when they get married and ironically enough within the first year of being married take on some of the largest expenses they will experience together: engagement rings and weddings!
I have fond memories of searching for the perfect engagement ring. Along my search, I walked into Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry. Blakeman’s impressed me the moment I drove up. Every detail about their store felt high quality. Their staff was extremely friendly and really wanted to become a part of my engagement celebration more than simply selling me a ring. I appreciated their transparency and integrity. They offered me a great selection of well known brands and custom designers to choose from, but still worked with me to meet my budget and create the ideal piece to tell my and Kaleigh’s story. Since that day I have become a loyal Blakeman’s customer.
Throughout our engagement, Kaleigh and I worked to reach a middle ground in how we managed our finances. We found that some of the following steps facilitated a smooth transition into marriage:
- Spending assessment - We both had to track and know where we spent our money in order to openly communicate that to one another.
- Honest confrontation - After knowing each of our individual spending, we had to determine what was necessary as a new couple. What works as individuals doesn’t automatically continue on as a couple. Some expenditures were cut out to make room for new ones.
- Proactive communication - We found setting a conversation date on the calendar really helps foster a team approach rather than all of the burden being placed on one person to be the family CFO. It also provides a chance for either of us to voice if a goal, need, or want is changing.
- Priority lists - We rank our expenditures in relation to their importance in order to determine how much discretionary income we may have.
Finances are incredibly important to communicate about and proactively work together on to achieve goals. Luckily, there are some perks for married couples. Kaleigh and I benefit from sharing financial responsibilities and expenses, while increasing savings through tax deductions, sharing healthcare expenses, and retirement savings. We enjoy our DINK stage of life (dual income no kids).
If you would like to learn more about finances in marriage, check out these two articles we found insightful. Financial Benefits of Marriage vs. Being Single or Money and Marriage Please schedule a meeting if you would like discuss how we can be a financial resource for you. If you would like to buy some beautiful jewelry or an engagement ring, check out Blakeman's Fine Jewelry.
Happy Anniversary Kaleigh!
Photos by: Justin Palmer