Hi everyone! I've been lurking for a few weeks, but just discovered the journal section and said to myself, 'Yep, this is for me. Time to think up a forum name!' I hope to update this journal often, branch out to other sections of the boards, and make some friends here. Please feel free to comment, otherwise I'll be sitting here talking to myself and won't make any friends!
While paying off student loans is a big one for me, I'll also ramble about various other financial goals and our progress towards them. Intro:
I am 30 and DH is 34, married for five years. No kids yet, though we both recently caught the baby fever, so we're thinking about trying soon. (Yeah, yeah, I know kids might derail our plans - we will adjust as needed).
I handle all of our finances, suggest goals, and plan how to reach them - after we have discussed and agreed on the goal. The primary reason why I handle our finances is that I LIKE it. I like making spreadsheets, budgets, and tracking progress towards goals. Especially the spreadsheets - I do love a good spreadsheet!
DH and I were raised in families that have different financial backgrounds, so we have different perceptions of 'normal personal finance' and our habits are influenced by our parents. My dad is a 'finance dork' (I say that lovingly, and I have a touch of it myself). He started at the bottom of the corporate ladder, went to night school when I was a kid, and worked his way up to VP now. I am SO proud of my dad and really admire him, so I've always taken his lessons to heart. He taught me to always live below my means, to never carry a balance on a credit card, that you don't need most of the stuff that people waste money on, the importance of savings, and numerous other financial lessons. While my dad makes a generous salary now and my parents are financially comfortable, I know that they achieved that by making smart financial decisions.
On the other hand, DH's parents have a serious spending problem. They are wonderful people, but they are generous far beyond what they can afford, they plan poorly, splurge without a plan to pay off the debt, and view credit cards as an extension of their income rather than a tool to earn rewards and protect your purchases. DH and I met in college, so I have known his parents for 10 years or so, and in that time, I have seen them refinance their house three times in order to pay off credit card debt, only to max out their credit cards again in six months.
Before we got married, we had a serious talk about finances. DH knows that his parents are a bad example when it comes to finances and knows that he learned some financial weaknesses from them. We discussed our families and financial knowledge and decided that we want to follow my parents' example. I am in charge of managing finances, but we discuss everything and DH is very cooperative (though he grumbles about budgets sometimes...but I think we all do!) He has come a long way with his financial habits and I am very proud of him, though he sometimes needs reminders or needs his hand held when it comes to financial decisions. I'm sure I will talk about these challenges in future posts. Next up: Our financial story so far