Couples Finance: Replacing “Mine” with “Ours”
Before my wife and I got married, we were living on opposite sides of the country. Then, after our Vegas nuptials, she moved into my an apartment I already had in California, bringing her various assets to my abode furnished almost exclusively with things I had inherited from past roommates. In other words, while our combined collections were suitable at the time, nothing really felt like ours. That’s why it’s been nice to, as our finances permit, replace these items that were just mine or her’s with purchases we make together.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that my wife and I were considering buying a new-to-us car. Well, last weekend, that’s exactly what we did (P.S. look for my full Carvana review coming soon). There were several reasons for this decision, including wanting a more comfortable and efficient vehicle for our frequent road trips, but the thought of finally owning a car we mutually chose was also attractive to me.
This actually isn’t the first time this concept has occurred to me. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’ve taken pride in living in Springfield, Missouri as it was a location my wife and I chose together. Similarly, in recent years we’ve done away with a sofa and mattress I’d picked up along the way and purchased new items instead. To me, these upgrades have not only been worth it on a financial level but have also taken on special importance.
What’s kind of funny about my feelings on this whole “shared items” thing is that my wife and I continue to have completely separate bank accounts. Well, while we don’t have formal joint accounts, we do both have access to each others’ accounts and are authorized users on a couple of credit cards. Still, I recognize the irony here.
To be clear, I certainly don’t think that replacing formerly owned items with mutually purchased ones needs to be a priority or that there’s even anything wrong with holding onto older items. Heck, merging your two lives to form a beneficial partnership is pretty much what marriage is all about right? I’m just saying that, in my experience, there’s something special about saying goodbye to the past and embracing our present and our future.
As a personal finance blogger, assigning that much power to “stuff” probably isn’t the most expected angle I could take. That may be true, but I’d argue there’s actually a money lesson in here too. See, given how careful and analytical my wife and I are when it comes to big purchases, the times when we do decide to buy carry more weight and significance. So, while the day will surely come when everything is ours and this novelty wears off, for now, it’s still exciting to have something new to call “ours.”