haha... I have to find and purchase this piggy bank!
Money. I think every couple has to open up and deal with it at some point. How you decide to do your bank accounts / handling spending / saving...is a personal preference. But it's important to handle it earlier rather than later.
We had to deal with the "money issue" early on because we purchased our house a year before we got married. We both agree it was a great investment...and it allowed us to sit down and seriously discuss our finances and how we would handle it together as a couple. Here's some advice we would like to pass on to all you:
1) Sit down, Pray and Chat. It seems so easy, but money talk can start up some heated discussion. So initially, decide together that you'll sit and just discuss what each of you would like to bring to the table. Pray for guidance in making the right decisions. Consider even discussing the issue with your pastor. Many are trained counselors in the area of resolving financial issues.
2) Know your limits. Our largest concern with finances was how much less we were going to have to spend on what we wanted. All in all, we had to make a budget that neither of us had done before. We no longer were able to eat out as much or spend money on splurges.
3) Keep on top of it. Whether it's the two of you together or just one...make sure you keep track of you accounts and where your money is going. Automatic bill pay is great...but look out for hidden charges or even inconsistencies... it happens.
4) Save. Pretty self-explanatory. As much as you can allow yourselves... save up for emergencies and special occasions (ex: Christmas, Birthdays, Vacations...)
Matt and I are an anti-debt couple. We can't stand credit cards or owing interest on anything. There are some items in our life that we couldn't help but finance. (hello house.) But as for appliances and everyday items... we save up for it. And looking back, we're glad we don't have to worry about bills in the mail.
p.s. We're doing really good this week! I have some recipes I want to share with all of you...so stay tuned!