The problem is how to use the joint account. Just bills? Groceries? Do groceries include beer from the liquor store?
The story of my first credit card is dead boring. Nonetheless, I’d appreciate it if you read on, because my dad deserves his kudos. And besides, when it comes to money, boring can get you very, very far.
A few years ago, my 401(k) started to exhibit strange behavior. I check my statement about once a week, and at the time, I noticed that my balance was dipping and rising, and I had no idea why.
So when a twenty-something guy walked by on a hot summer day to offer to do odd jobs, my first instinct was to send him away. Then I looked at my overgrown lawn, thought about the grad school work ahead of me, the run I wanted to go on, and the writing I wanted to do.
The other night I was having a conversation with a friend about money, and we started talking about inflation. When my friend asked me where I’d learned about the concept, I think he expected me to say, "college." Instead I said, DuckTales.
As part of my journey to understand this situation better, I've been talking to people at all levels of wealth. One major goal is to find out how professional, active money management differs from the administration of the average middle class nest egg. To that end, I recently talked with a wealth manager for a large bank. Let's call him Tom.
Lunch started off well, but fifteen minutes in he got very serious and said something like "you’re starting to make some money, have you thought about securing your financial future?"
The first year of our marriage, my wife and I fought about money all the time. Her shoulders raised in defense whenever I tried to talk about her debt, and I became passive-aggressive when asking about purchases I was seeing in our joint checking account. So we decided to figure out how to fix this.