Talking About Money

by Dual Income No Kids on May 28, 2009 · 0 comments


Hello All,

I wanted to update you briefly on how we divided up our tax return. My wife and I had a good productive conversation about it that I think is worth sharing.

Briefly, we filed our taxes later than the April 15th deadline – don’t ask, its a long story – so we should be getting back approximately $10,600 dollars from DC and the IRS in the next couple of weeks.

Now, its not every day that we get ten grand back. So, we generally sit down and talk about what should be done with the funds. I just wanted to make a few observations about what goes through our minds when we have these sorts of conversations.

1) Goals: How we decide to allocate the money depends on a number of things. Our goals are an important consideration. For example, we plan to max out our IRAs for 2009, and will use a great deal of the funds to accomplish this. Wealth building and saving for our retirement are major goals of ours.

2) Relationship harmony: Money conversations represent an important opportunity to negotiation solutions that both partners feel are optimal for their situations. For example, my wife Miel paid our accountants fee of $850 for our taxes. In conjunction with the fact that her work has been a bit slow with direct depositing of paychecks, she has been feeling a bit strapped for cash. So, this was a good opportunity to replenish Miel’s cash situation, which will reduce our overall stress levels and keep both of us happy.

3) Quality of Life: Now that we have our emergency fund taken care of and a good cushion of stocks and bonds we’ve been allocating more of our money for household repair. Back in 2005 when we bought our apartment, a lot of the kitchen work wasn’t properly done. For example, we had a short circuit due to faulty wiring, the washing machine has broken down a couple of times, etc. etc. So, with some of the tax return funds we’ll be fixing the oven mounting. Its probably going to cost another $800, but it would be nice to know the appliance won’t keel over and dump our food on the floor at 400 degrees.

So, to quickly recap, when we have money conversations we tend to take our goals into account and balance them against maintaining the harmony of our relationship along with other considerations like quality of life issues.

Best,

James

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