@bowtiesarecool EXACTLY. I hate the idea of putting so so much on hold in the name of paying down low-interest debt. As long as I'm on top of payments, and in throw a little extra while I'm at it, I see no problem in having debt while allowing for some fun/life milestones.
Oh god, I needed to see this today. My husband and I just closed on a house - a reasonably priced one, with enough space to grow a family - despite have massive (MASSIVE!) student loans. (We're both attorneys.) If we followed the "all debt is bad!" mantra floating around, we'd still be stuck with the lodestone of debt for years and years, even while throwing a healthy amount at the balance every month. Instead, we split our priorities - paid a little extra on the loans, saved a little on the side for a down payment, saved for retirement - and you know what? It really was the right choice. Our housing expense is always going to be there; we just locked it down while interest rates and housing prices are low. Intuitively, this makes sense. With this financial goal met, now we start focusing on those student loans.
By the time we got engaged, my husband was already in law school and I was the sole breadwinner, so we fell into the merge everything model almost by default and have continued this in the years since he graduated. Honestly, though, one of the many reasons we're a good match is that we're on the same page in regards to spending. We also have a budget with indulgences built-in, so neither one of us feels obliged to justify anything we buy. Any way you decide to go, separate accounts or not, you should probably have open communication about money. Sure, people get emotional when it comes to the subject, but I think many fights could probably be avoided by establishing clear expectations of one another. For example, a coworker and his wife check in anytime they want to buy something more than 50 bucks. I like that approach a lot.
I own the tea kettle pictured and it. is. awesome. (It was also a wedding present; I, too, would balk at shelling out $90 if asked to purchase it on my own.) Seriously, though, if you're a french press coffee aficionado or heavy tea drinker who cares about the best way to brew your white/green/oolong teas, the kettle's great at keeping the water at the right temperature. Yes, it's expensive, but it does a great job with minimal user effort.
I agree that you can set boundries for stuff like interrupting or the food thing, but what about tics like chewing loudly or with your mouth open? Is there a way to politely tell someone their table manners are horrible without being a huge jerk about it? Also, I worked with a guy who would CONSTANTLY clear his throat during allergy season. It was super annoying but I could never figure out a nice way to tell him to cut it out, short anonymously leaving some Mucinex on his desk.
@spectacularisms Taking this opportunity to pile on the tax code: Aside from student loan deduction (obvs) we get like, zero tax breaks. As a couple, we are solidly middle class renters and there is NOTHING in the tax code for us. I spent years as a CPA working on other people's taxes and I am still gobsmacked at the benefits other people (who, um, CLEARLY didn't need it from the looks of their AGI) got from itemizing stuff. Taxes are seriously effed up.
@spectacularisms Community property state here. Married filing separately doesn't help us a bit :(
SING IT. My financial situation is slightly different, but so much of what OP wrote resonates. When my husband went back to school for his JD in 2007, the economy hadn't yet tanked and the legal job market hadn't hit the skids. When he got out in 2011, jobs were scarce and he hasn't found a legal job in the years since. He's working for a non-profit, making like, no money, but since we're married my (admittedly cushy) income gets factored into the loan repayment calculator. It's not even my debt! But I'm stuck with the feeling that I can't afford to switch careers and take a paycut/go back to school for a Master's when there's this debt lodestone on our future. GAH. MONEY!
Grammar nerd time: I think the conditional refers to the mood, not the verb tense.
I have been beating the flu shot drum since I got it the week before finals my sophomore year of college. It was THE WORST. At the time I lived in the world's crappiest apartment complex where people constantly pulled the fire alarms, for fun (?) which didn't help my recovery AT ALL. But yes. I have limited sympathy for flu shot skeptics. They adminster 'em in pretty much every drug store or Target, which is probably no more than 5 minutes away from where you're sitting right now. They make it so easy for you! Be an adult about these things, people! Like, I'm probably not going to die I skipped it, and neither are the people I see on a regular basis. But missing 5+ days of work for recovery? (Or worse, soldiering through it while working from home while feeling thisclose to death?) No thanks, I'd rather use that PTO for other things.