I last talked about my boring finances waaay back in 2010. Since then I have: gotten tenure, quit my job, gotten engaged, moved across the country from Hell to Paradise, planned a wedding, gotten married, and gotten a new job… and gosh, a lot has happened in five years.
So, you may be wondering, how has all of this affected my boring finances?
Wedding/Honeymoon: Thank every one of the gods and goddesses that the planning is over. The wedding was a blast! Everything was great. The pictures came out wonderfully, the food was tasty, there was some laughter, nobody killed each other [despite the swordplay]. When I look at the photos of that day, all I see is love.
We paid for the honeymoon (and the wedding) ourselves, thanks to our savings and a windfall from my partner’s job. Thanks also to both sets of parents who gave us cash gifts they could afford, thus freeing anybody from arguing about loans or who got to make decisions. We <3 you, parents. Cash is always appropriate.
We went far away on our honeymoon, and because it was our one-and-only honeymoon, we sprang for business class on the long-haul flight (both ways). We haven’t done this before, and it was really worth it. Business class really cuts down on the amount of pain we’re in after a long flight (although it doesn’t completely eliminate that phase of the flight where every part of your body hurts, but it does make it shorter and less severe!). By ‘long’ flight I mean over ten hours.
We ate everything, we stayed at nice hotels, we did touristy stuff, we loved it.
Car: I had to buy one when I moved to Hell in 2008. Paid it all off on my junior professor salary. It’s slightly the worse for wear at the moment, but still going quite strong.
house down payment: Nope. Since we moved to Paradise, we can’t afford a house. I am just as happy renting in a place that I love, and I’m glad I didn’t try to buy in Blasted Wasteland. Because now I would own a house in Blasted Wasteland. Ugh. Or I would have had to unload it on some other poor sap of a junior faculty person and then they’d be stuck there.
retirement: After some time off between jobs, my retirement account is a bit anemic for my age. Yipes! But now that I’m employed full time with benefits again, I’m going to try to make up for lost time. (I know that compound interest means I can’t, really, but I can only work on the future.) Starting in Jan., I’ll be putting THE MAX you can put in each year. It’s kind of a scary-large amount of money. But it seems like the right choice. My overall retirement amount is very small so far….
How our joint finances work: Big changes here, due to my unemployment and then re-employment, us moving, my partner changing jobs, and getting legally married.
We’ve got a joint account for savings for our next life adventure, whatever that may be. We’ve already had a wedding and we’re priced out of real estate. Maybe my partner will make a career change? We also each have individual checking and savings. My partner pays all the bills and occasionally I chuck some money his way. He’s paying more than half, since his salary is about 2.3 times mine. I’m on his health insurance, which is way nicer than the one at my work, and turns out to be the same price or cheaper for much better service. We are each other’s beneficiaries on stuff like retirement accounts and life insurance (free through work).
We used to have method one of sharing finances, but these days we have no spreadsheet at all. One big thing that has changed is that with legally tying the knot, all our finances are legally “ours” instead of his-n-hers. We still use them mostly as his-n-hers, which is fine, but our thinking is much closer to “enh, it’s your money too” than we used to be. But now we’ll be doing taxes as married-filing-jointly, and my lower income will help offset his higher tax burden. Because we had some complex tax things go on, I leave the taxes up to him, because his job had a bunch of wacky tax implications with stock options and things I do not understand. Maybe in 2016 our taxes will be simpler and I will go back to understanding them.
So, uh, yeah? How are your finances? Any changes in the last 5 years or so?