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Thinking of New Beginnings and How It'll Work (Rambling Away)

January 17th, 2016 at 10:28 am

I think I am going to have to drop back from posting a photo a day. I've got a few too many other things on my mind now. Big Grin I will still post a picture when I find something that easily works though. Smile Just not every day.

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So Mr. FT and I have discussed finances before, and we both have agreed about the idea of joint finances.

Once we are married, I'll be able to add him to my health insurance plan and he can drop the Obamacare plan. (Am really curious about how this will affect taxes /subsidies. I *think* even with our combined incomes, he'd still qualify for the subsidy since it'd be based off of 2 people instead of one.???) That will save a few dollars in monthly premium - but more importantly, the OOP and other co-pays will be much less than his current plan.

What I'm a little unsure of about how to handle though is the inherited stock from my dad. About 1/3rd of it I moved into a ROTH IRA account about two years ago. So that's not touchable. But the rest is in a regular brokerage account. If we're really truly combining finances, then this should be part of it. But I think I might be a little bit on the touchy side about using it anytime soon. (Especially since we seem to be in a season of stocks where NOT selling is a good idea.)

Would it be unreasonable of me to say that I am okay with considering this a part of our joint finances, but with the caveat that it won't be touched for at least ten years, or in a case of desperate need. (As in we both lost our jobs and have run through every other resource.)

The complicating thing is that he's still waiting on his small inheritance check. So to be fair, I'd have to say that he could use it however he felt best, right? Even if that meant he used it to buy a boat instead of paying off medical debt or towards the wedding/house downpayment.

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As far as the wedding goes ... I sincerely doubt that his sister is going to offer to help pay for anything that the groom's side traditionally pays for - even if/when she gets her inheritance money.

My aunt has offered to pay for my dream dress, and my mom has offered to pitch in some money too.

Other than that, it's him and I who will be footing the bills.

So ... since we haven't combined finances yet, do we divide the expenses by the traditional groom's family / brides family - where he cover's the grooms side and I cover the brides side? Or, would it be better to come up with a figure, and each of us contribute 1/2? Subtracting the cost of the dress and my mom's contribution.

I found a local photographer who has posted prices of less than $1k. I contacted him to see what he would charge for a Sunday morning wedding and a total of maybe 3 hours between the before ceremony, ceremony and reception. (We won't have dancing/drinking, so it's a much shorter shindig.)

I spent way too many hours on knot.com yesterday. Yowsa. I'm thinking I'll put together a wedding website - but want to get Mr. FTs opinion on the background first. (It's free on the knot.)

If I can make myself go outside today, I'm going to go to Barnes and Noble and use my gift card I got for Christmas to buy a wedding planner book. Glad I didn't spend it on something else!

I asked my mom to take charge of figuring out hotel accommodations for out of town guests and also to get me the addresses I need to send people invites (whether or not they're ones that would really show up.)

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Engagement parties aren't really necessary are they?

I think I've decided to not have a bridal party -i.e. MOH, BM etc. We'll have few enough people in the audience as it is. I'll probably ask my mom to help me with getting ready/finishing touches.

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I told some people at church yesterday. Mainly the people in my Sabbath School class. They were pretty happy for me. Smile

I was going to talk to R about what would be involved in using the church, but she was pretty preoccupied with getting potluck ready.

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It is SO cold outside. The wind doesn't help matters.

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I really want to invite my boss. Mr. FT is okay with it. But ... how do I do that without inviting other people from the office? Just tell her not to mention that she's invited?

Our tagline for guests is family and mutual friends. But my boss wouldn't work as a mutual friend - Mr. FT hasn't met her.

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I was feeling really bored with my food choices last night. Ended up making a toasted cheese sandwich which was okay.

I just have to remind myself that staying out of the grocery store / fast food places is helping my budget AND my waistline. It's worth it, even if I really want a Cheese Frenchie from Amigo's or a burrito from Taco Bell ...

This morning I made my oatmeal/greek yogurt/banana pancakes and tried adding some chocolate syrup to them. Yeah, no. (The ones I did that to, burned a bit.)
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If you were registering for pots/pans, other kitchen/household stuff, what would you register for?

One thing I think I'll put on there is an InstaPot. Maybe really good kitchen knives? My dishes I've had since 1997, so maybe replace those? I don't want China or silver. Wouldn't have a use for them.

Would it be rude to put a paypal link on your registry page for gift donations towards a house downpayment fund? I saw that suggested in an article on the knot.

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I cashed out for a $25 AGC from PerkTv today. I really need to get my extra phone set up to earn the points faster. It's been sitting in my closet for a couple months now ... (a cheap $10 phone.)
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Sorry for the all over the place post. I have lots of stuff running through my head right now. Smile

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Okay, I'm going to catch up on everyone's journals, then force myself out the door to the store. Smile

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ETA - Just thought of a question. Do you have your engagement /wedding ring(s) insured through renter's insurance or homeowner's? I've never had an expensive piece of jewelry, and knowing how hard I'm on watches ...

Also ... the ring went ON my finger fine. And I can turn it around with no problem. But I can't get it off. Should I have sized up 1/2 a step? Or wait and see if I will keep on losing weight?

24 Responses to “Thinking of New Beginnings and How It'll Work (Rambling Away)”

  1. Kaycee Fisher Says:




    My only comment/thought is that the money you inherited from your dad is YOURS and YOURS alone. Hell and no to making any of it OURS.



  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks Kaycee. This isn't something I've brought up with him just yet because I'm just not sure how I feel about it. He knows about it, but we haven't discussed it really.

    If I were to say that the money was mine, then I'd have to conversely say that the money he's inheriting is his. That seems like that would be the only fair thing to do. (And the funny thing is, when I inherited these stocks, they were worth about the same amount as what he's inheriting.)

  3. Jenn Says:

    I agree with Kaycee on your inheritance. Any assets that you have before the wedding are yours - just yours. If NT inherits money before the wedding, it's his - just his. But it will be telling to see what he does with it and compare it to your behavior when you received an inheritance. If he does buy something fun (like your boat example) while having medical debt, that would be a red flag.

    If your family isn't paying for the wedding, you & NT should decide together what you're willing to spend based on how important the reception is to you. It is just a party after the ceremony after all. I may be missing some backstory, but I don't know what would make his sister obligated to pay for anything. My brother married a woman whose family didn't pay for the reception (because she'd been married before), and the thought of me contributing toward the cost didn't even cross my radar.

    On invitations, you should invite whoever you want there and don't worry about it. Certainly don't ask anyone to keep their invitation a secret. If approached, you can always make a general comment about restricting the guest list for space or cost reasons. That shouldn't offend anyone.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    You can create a joint checking and/or savings account and agree to contribute a fixed portion % of your check to it to pay ongoing and current bills. You don't have to do much else right now. Merging finances and savings can be very touchy, understandably so. Everything moving forward from the day you marry should be 50/50, but other than that....

    If it makes you feel better, keep your inheritance segregated in its own account so you don't commingle it with other money that could be construed as joint money.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    No engagement parties aren't necessary. That is a more recent thing for people who just like to throw parties in my opinion. Weddings are BIG business. Half of what is suggested isn't necessary. Someone mentioned a cake topper...um, we just had frosting flowers on ours. My sister had real flowers I think.

    Are there wedding apps? Just an idea instead of a planner.

    Only invite who you want there to witness your wedding. No apologies. I had a bride apologize to me for not inviting. I felt bad she had to apologize. It was not necessary in the least. We weren't good friends and it was an out of town wedding. We wouldn't have been able to attend even if invited as it turned out.

    Register for what you need to establish your household together. Which one of you will be moving in with the other? We were registered for nearly everything kitchen and bath if I remember. I suppose the PayPal thing would be okay. If people don't like it they will get something else.

  6. Ima saver Says:

    When I got married to dh (I had been married before), I owned my house, free and clear. I did NOT put the house in his name. After we moved here to Ga. (We had been married for 7 years, we had the new house titled in both names. I think you should keep your inherited finances seperate for a few years.
    I do think that asking for a wedding gift of money towards your house down payment is a wonderful idea. I always give money as a wedding gift, cause that is what I think a first time married couple need the most.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    If you want to keep your inheritance separate in the event the marriage doesn't work ( not sure if that's the reason), should you get a prenup?

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks Jenn,

    In an effort to be a little brief, I guess I was too brief. Smile Of Mr. FTs immediate family, only his sister is alive. So .. when the "traditon" calls for the groom's family to pay for something, she'd be the "groom's family" essentially. I don't expect for her to pay for anything.

    PS - That's a good idea. We could open a joint checking account for wedding/honeymoon planning purposes, and then once we're married we could use it as our general purpose account.

    So, for the inheritance, basically just leave it where it is and don't worry about it. When I do someday use some of it - if I put that money in a shared account, then would that construe the whole thing as joint? Or if I kept it in my own personal account, but used it for a shared purpose??

    CCF - Good. That's what I thought. I've never heard of anyone I personally know have an engagement party. Smile If my mom still has her cake topper, I'll use hers. If not, then I might ask my grandma to bring a Danish figurine of a man/woman and place it near the cakes or something. Otherwise, just some flowers would do. Smile
    Yes, there's tons of wedding apps. Smile I did end up buying a book called Bridal Bargins with my gift card. I'm not sure if there's an app for it or not.

    Thanks for the invitation no apology words. Smile

    Neither of us will be moving in with the other until we buy a house. Between us we'd have too many animals to rent a place. So ... before we can buy a house I'd like to have his debt reduced as much as possible. The student debt is the easiest one to slash - but we have to be married for me to do anything about it. (use my education award money) That means we'll probably be married for 4 or 5 months before actually living together in one household.

    Ima - Thanks Ima Smile

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ceejay - I'm not sure. I want to believe that the marriage will work. I wouldn't be saying yes if I didn't think it would. But at the same time, the assets will be basically 95% me and 5% him. So ... thinking non-optimistically .. maybe a pre-nup would be a good thing. Although really most of my assets are tied up in various retirement accounts or in the brokerage account. Anything outside of that I want to put to use for both of our good. Although .. I am thinking of using money (contributions only) from the ROTH I established 10? years ago for the downpayment. Maybe if I keep good documentation of what percentage of my prior assets I used towards the house, that would be enough.

    I hate thinking like that .. but again, trying to not be unrealistic. Hopeful, but eyes wide open?

  10. PatientSaver Says:


    Aside from the single joint checking account used to pay ongoing expenses, you don't need to label other assets/savings as anything different right now. If the time comes you want to buy a house or something else, you'd discuss it and decide how to finance it.

    I wish you every success but at the same time there's nothing wrong with being prudent. You don't need to prove your love by saying now all my money is yours. Just take your time, get a few years of wedded bliss under your belt, and take it as it comes.

    Prenups make sense when there is a great discrepancy in assets, such as when one person has a great deal more money than the other. It sounds like that may be the case here. Everyone goes into a marriage with the very best of intentions, but as we know, things can change.

  11. MonkeyMama Says:

    I think keeping the inheritance moneys separate is wise. I think someone deciding to do whatever the heck they want with it is un-wise. You can work towards common financial goals while legally keeping the money separate. I guess personally that is what I would strive for. & since laws vary so much from state to state it would be wise to at least discuss with a lawyer. It's the only way you will get any useful advice on this matter.

    As to the wedding, I'd pick what was important to you and forget the rest. Nothing is really "necessary" but the vows?

    I'd just resize the ring so that it's comfortable in the here and now. I have never had insurance on my ring because it's not expensive. So that is something I have absolutely no advice on.

    Oh, and yeah, the wedding I would think would be a 50/50 thing. I mean, if the bride's family wants to pay for it all, great. But if not, I don't see why the bride would shoulder more the cost. (Our parents kind of took on their traditional roles, but we didn't want to ask for money and paid for much of our wedding ourselves. We "combined finances" before we married, so I guess it was a joint thing. If we had not shared our finances already, I think we would have just split the cost 50/50).

    Your plate is full figuring all this out!

  12. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks MM!

    That's true - the vows are *the* important thing. Everything else is extra. Smile
    I think I will do that - I need to be able to take it off sometimes so I don't ruin it!

    I'll be discussing the 50/50 thing with him tonight. Also suggesting opening a joint checking account for wedding/honeymoon expenses.

    I just got a call back from the bed and breakfast place I'm interested in. They have May 8 open! It will be $295 to rent the entire main floor and have use of the outside gardens. Plus they'll do the setup for the ceremony! I would have to rent tables for the reception, and chairs for the ceremony/reception. But that didn't sound like too much for 25 people. I'm going to see if Mr FT will go with me to see it on Thursday. Sweet!

  13. MonkeyMama Says:

    I don't know that I'd bother with a joint checking account yet. Maybe overly complicated? You can share your goals and finances somewhat without having to do it so literally. But maybe it's a step in the right direction. If you are just going to do so anyway in May.

    Great news on the B&B!

  14. Petunia 100 Says:

    Did you try soaping up your finger and trying to slide the ring off? If it won't come off under those circumstances, you should consider having it cut off (by a jeweler) and then re-sized.

    I think keeping inheritances separate is fair, BUT, you are coming into the marriage with no debt. NE is coming into the marriage with debt. If he intends to spend the money on something frivolous, that is a clear indication he is comfortable carrying debt. Judging by what you write and how you choose to live your life, you are not comfortable carrying debt. That is a big conflict, and something the two of you should discuss and resolve.

  15. My English Castle Says:

    We've combined almost everything, but we agreed the inheritance from my mom would be mine. I don't expect that there will be anything when DH's father goes. We had a small mortgage left when my mom died, and could have paid it off in a few years, but I figured, "why wait?" It wasn't much, less than 20% of the money, and it was a gesture toward our financial freedom. I'm not against a pre-nup. DH is, in most cases, more frugal than me, and we have a child. I think that changes things. I do think it's a super idea to sit down and talk through financial matters. It's a difficult topic for many couples.

    Our pastor talked a long time today about weddings--including a rather horrifying story about a couple who spent 10 grand on flowers and wanted him to change the church carpeting because it clashed with the bridesmaids' dresses. Our culture pushes enormous spending on weddings, and I think it's the perfect time to talk through what you both want and what really matters.

  16. snafu Says:

    I too suggest you add a wedding dedicated app for your phone for wedding ideas, lists, calendar tracking and a small [3.5" x 2"] business card holder or snack sz zip bag to corral the business cards you'll be collecting. Not yet mentioned is the importance of a detailed, written and signed contract for all suppliers/contractors which details any penalty if not fully fulfilled or sum relinquished for default. I don't think it's worth the cost of having a lawyer prepare a prenuptial agreement but it's likely a good idea to follow Monkey Mama's suggestion to verify state law about inheritances.

    What are your current apartment lease dates? Since you plan to invite guests who may not be able to attend, it's thoughtful to register with a country wide, broad category store. You could ask for non traditional items like a battery operated drill, sm ladder or tools that every home owner must have If people ask you or your mom for gift ideas, you could suggest donating to the house buying fund.

    Off topic, I hope all the wedding planning doesn't change your plan to apply for the college library position.

  17. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Petunia - No, I haven't tried that yet.

    We had a *really* good talk tonight about wedding planning, finances, etc. At one point he told me (without prompting) that he'd decided that with everything coming up that he was going to put off getting the next vehicle/boat - because that money (the inheritance) would be useful for the downpayment. He even remembered that I'd asked him to come up with half ($6k) or more. I was very impressed. Our whole conversation tonight really wowed me.

    MEC - Ouch! 10k on FLOWErS?? I'm hoping to get away with maybe $100 on flowers! It really incredulous to me that a *budget* wedding is something under $10k. That's just a bit less than I paid for my car.

    Snafu - That's a great idea to have a ziploc bag to hold business cards! I haven't had a chance to pick out an app yet, but definitely plan on choosing one soon.

    Neither of us have to worry about lease dates - both on month to month.

    I'm planning on registering at Amazon, and then maybe Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

    Nope - just have about two things left to do on the application, and then will submit it when I get up later today. Smile I am a little worried about how if I get the job, it will affect me being able to take time off for the wedding/honeymoon. And also health insurance, etc. But I have faith it'll work out. Smile

  18. My English Castle Says:

    It was astonishing to me too--something so perishable and so expensive. I have to say the thing we registered for that got the most comments was the wet/dry vac. And how useful it's been!

  19. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Hi FrugalTexan, I can definitely understand you putting the 365 days of gratitude to the side, you are definitely going to be busy for the next few months! With your inheritance, just leave it separate for now - there is plenty of time to worry about that later. The joint bank account for wedding expenses is a wonderful idea - it's a little exercise in handling your finances together and very helpful to have a separate account specifically for that purpose. Whenever we do big financial things (our wedding was one of those things!) I park all the required money in our mortgage offset account simply so I can view what we have exactly without mixing it with any other expenses (and I figure we might as well try to pay less loan interest while we're at it!). Good luck with everything Smile

  20. alice4now Says:

    I think opening a joint account for wedding expenses, that can then be turned into a joint account for living expenses, is a good idea. It may take a bit of practice comingling finances!

  21. pjmama Says:

    We didn't have an engagement party, and I don't think I've ever been to one - so I wouldn't even bother with that Smile Instead of a bridal shower we did a "stock the bar" party, so guests brought bottles of liquor, which were then used at the wedding. It was a nice way to cover that cost. haha.

    We did a honeymoon donation fund online as well as a traditional registry - given that we're moving soon, and didn't want to add a bunch of stuff to the mix to move. I feel like most people these days tend to give money/checks regardless, so I wouldn't feel guilty asking guests to contribute to a house downpayment.

    And I agree with many of the commenters before me - the actual getting married part is what is important. Don't get bogged down on details! We didn't have any cake toppers, kept the centerpieces incredibly simple, didn't do arranged seating, so we didn't need little cards, etc etc. Those little things add up and add more headache than necessary most of the time.

    You should DEFINITELY be able to get away with a wedding under $10k Smile Ours was about $15k and we had about 100 people and a relatively expensive venue. I spent about $300 on my flowers and they were *beautiful*. The only place I wouldn't skimp too much is the photographer, but at only 3 hours you should be able to get under $1000 pretty easily. I would charge $750 for that length of time to my clients. And I'm pretty mid-range in price in our area. Your flowers will go away, but those photos are going to be how you hold on to those memories for the rest of your life. Hiring a good one is worth it! And I'm not just saying that because I'm a wedding photographer Wink

  22. CB in the City Says:

    Your wedding is your own -- there isn't anything you HAVE to do. What matters is what you want to do.

    If I were registering for pots & pans today, I'd go with All-Clad.

  23. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    MEC - He has a wet/dry vac, and I agree - it's a great thing to have! Wink
    Thanks VS and Alice!

    Pjmama - Thanks! I wish you were in my area so I could hire you. Big Grin $750 doesn't sound too bad at all. I'm hoping to get this in under $3k (not including the dress since my aunt is paying for that)

  24. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks CB!

    We both have pots and pans from Goodwill or the inexpensive Walmart brands ... so a little bit of an upgrade would be nice. Smile

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