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.
I use PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet (but I'm pretty sure other banks have a similar features online, Bank of American being one of 'em I think.) ANYWAY I use PNC's online bill pay for just about everything - meaning my bank account is aware of my cash outflows - and there's a calendar feature showing how much cash is going out before next payday and how much free cash I have between now and then. It's pretty great, actually. Make technology your friend!
But also, get the ebook. Wave of the future/keeping fewer objects in the home/yadda yadda.