Thursday, October 28, 2010

money, money,!

I've read and heard, many times, that money is one of the biggest points of contention in relationships. I'm not sure how accurate that statement is, statistically, but I definitely don't disagree. Money is very personal. It can be difficult to discuss and incredibly stressful, especially if couples don't share the same spending (and saving) habits. Every person and every couple, though, has their own way of organizing and managing their finances. I'd like to share how the future mister and I organize our money because I remember trying to research similar information when we were preparing to move in together back in the spring of 2009. Again, this is not to say that our way is better than anyone else's, but rather it's what works for us.

Around the time that the future mister and I first started contemplating our move to Georgia, I began worrying about how we would deal with our money. I knew that I didn't want us to combine our finances completely, but I also wasn't a huge fan of keeping everything separate. It can get quite confusing when you have multiple bills and have to keep track of who owes who and how much. After some thought and deliberation (and research), I suggested to the future mister that we open up a joint bank account. Since we each earn different salaries and have different amounts of debt and/or personal bills to pay, I thought that contributing a percentage would be more fair than deciding on a flat amount. At the time that I presented this information, the future mister was not on board. Unfortunately, I can't recall the reasons why, but that's neither here nor there.

Eventually we moved and only a few weeks after that we were engaged. We had not been living in our apartment a full month when the future mister, out of the blue, told me that he had changed his mind (perhaps he just needed to warm up to the idea, or maybe he was waiting for the engagement - who knows). The process of setting up a joint checking account was fairly simple. We each have checks and a debit card, and can both access our account online. Once that was complete, we sat down and agreed on the parameters. Every pay period, we each contribute a certain percentage of our paycheck to the joint account. This money is used for rent, utilities, groceries (which includes cleaning supplies and basic toiletries), and joint gifts, in addition to food, entertainment and travel that we do as a couple. Any other bills (for instance, I have some student loans, a car payment, car insurance, a cell phone bill, and a fitness membership), gifts, hobbies, more expensive toiletries/beauty products (like makeup), and individual food, entertainment or travel is paid for separately. In addition to our joint checking account and separate checking accounts, we each have our own savings accounts with enough of a safety net for us to live for a few months if one or both of us were to lose our job/teaching assistantship.
Someday, in the near future, we would like to set up a joint savings account as well.

So far, our system has worked out very well. We never have to worry about owing each other anything and neither one of us has to feel guilty or ask permission if we want to purchase something for ourselves or spend our personal money in some other form or fashion. I'm glad that we were able to discuss this openly and come up with a solution that meets our current needs.

What kind of financial arrangement do you and your significant other have? Do you have any advice?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

color swatches are in!

The color swatches that I requested from LulaKate came in last week - with a nice little note, no less! I'm not one hundred percent satisfied with the colors I picked, but there are still a few more options to choose from.

From left to right: Paradise, Powder Blue, Surf, Mist, and Tiffany Blue

Seeing them all lined up together, I love the Powder Blue and the Mist. The Surf seems a bit too blue, almost closer to periwinkle. And the Paradise and Tiffany are almost too saturated.


I'm probably going to request to see Pond and Waterfall, and possibly Cloud and Jade. Overall, I am very pleased with the customer service from Bella Bridesmaid and LulaKate. Since our appointment a few weeks ago, I have received a follow up phone call, an email explaining the process of ordering if we're interested, an email inviting me to a special LulaKate event this Thursday (which I'm still debating whether or not to go), and the above swatches. I love that the store is by appointment only because we were able to get one-on-one attention. In my opinion, great service shouldn't be reserved only for the bride. For those of you still looking for bridesmaids dress, Bella Bridesmaid is a great option to consider.

During your engagement, did you have any notable customer service experiences, good or bad? Also, what are your thoughts on the color swatches?

Monday, October 25, 2010

personal goals

I am so, so proud of my soon-to-be husband this morning! He, along with some of our friends who were in town visiting, ran the Athens Half Marathon on Sunday morning. He signed up over the summer indicating that he could run it in under 2 hours and 30 minutes. After training for a few months, he set a personal goal of running it in under 2 hours. Well.....

My future mister ran 13.1 miles and beat his goal by over TEN minutes!!

1:46:25 - 259th out of 1791, 29th out of 123 in the men's 25-29 age division

He deserved it, as did the rest of our friends who ran! Here are some more pictures of our weekend:

Saturday night I cooked everyone a spaghetti dinner - the boys were watching the UGA/UK game

pinning their bibs onto their shirts

all dressed and ready to go

City Hall at 6:30 am

the runners

and they're off!

at the halfway point I started jumping up and down and causing a big racket

look at all those runners!

Jonathan at the finish line

Patrick at the finish - unfortunately this guy stepped right into my shot

Nathan at the finish

Katelyn at the finish

the future mister and his groomsmen, post-race

so proud!

City Hall at 9:55 am

Did you and/or your fiance set any personal goals prior to the wedding?

Friday, October 22, 2010

forever young - him

You've already seen my baby photos, so now it's time for the future mister's. It's one thing to look through your own pictures and reminisce and a different experience altogether to look at someone else's photos and listen to their stories.

Way back when, while we were still in undergrad and our relationship was brand new, the future mister and I were studying at his apartment when he handed me a three ring binder and told me I could read it. It contained page after page of his childhood stories, written lovingly by his father. Some were touching, most were funny and I was incredibly honored to be given that glimpse into his past. Also, I took that as my sign that things were getting serious, because you wouldn't let just anyone read something so personal!

This past winter, while we were going through his photographs, I experienced similar feelings - a visual glimpse to corresponded with the stories I read a few years before.

Adorable! Do you remember the first time you saw childhood photos of your significant other? How did it make you feel?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

one year blogiversary

We are almost to the end of October and I just realized the other day that I started blogging around this time last year. October 7th to be exact, so I'm a bit belated.

Happy one year blogging anniversary to me!

I didn't have too many expectations when I started this blog, and looking back, I'm really proud of myself for sticking with it. I used to write in journals beginning in middle school and since graduating from college I can't say that it happens all that often any more. I didn't realize how much I missed writing my thoughts down until I started blogging. It's been a very rewarding experience so far and the best part is that I will have a great keepsake from the wedding planning process!

Thank you all for following along. I appreciate your support and your feedback. Fellow bloggers, what got you started?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

saving seats

I think I've mentioned it before that we are having a "cocktail buffet" at our reception. This means that we won't have seating for all of our guests and instead there will be a mixture of 30 inch hi-boys and 36 and 40 inch rounds. If guests get tired throughout the evening, there are additional chairs on the front porch of the house, plenty of seating inside the house (in the air conditioning) and we could also potentially carry some chairs from the ceremony site to the green space surrounding our reception tent. For our younger guests, we don't foresee this being a problem. For our elderly guests, however, we are planning on reserving a few of the larger rounds. This will give me the opportunity to craft some more paper products since I'll be missing out on creating table numbers and escort cards.

The other thing I plan on doing is reserving seats for me and the future mister! Granted, we probably won't be sitting much throughout the evening, but it'll make for an awesome photo! Here are some of my favorites:








(source) - my absolute favorite!

Are you planning on saving seats at your wedding? Which one is your favorite?

Monday, October 18, 2010

my Atlanta shower

After a fun-filled Saturday of dress shopping, we topped off the weekend with brunch/my shower on Sunday morning. I picked murphy's in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta at the suggestion of a co-worker. I'm pretty sure that we all agreed that the food was delicious.

I really enjoyed how casual and intimate this shower was and, as you can see, my friends were extremely generous (thanks again ladies!). It was great to be able to chat and catch up with everyone, especially since most of them live 8+ hours away. It was also a great precursor to the two other showers I'll be having - one in Pennsylvania (my hometown) and one in North Carolina (the future mister's hometown).

What was your shower like? Did you/will you have more than one, like me?