JG and I have almost completed the combining-everything-together process that we initiated a few weeks ago. Now that we are married and have committed to proceeding henceforth as one unit, it’s time to get everything else on board and under one roof. Today’s to-do list found us consolidating our cell phone accounts, which will save us a nice hunk of change every month. In combining our accounts, I essentially transferred over to JG ownership of my phone number and all the other intimate account details that go with it. (We chose to do it that way, rather than transfer her to my account, because she gets an amazing discount through her work that far exceeds the discount I get).
Upon initiating the transfer, and JG accepting full responsibility for my number and account, I ceased to exist as an AT&T customer. *Poof* Account cancelled. The official party line in the email I received stated: “Your account has been cancelled since it no longer contains any active numbers. You are still responsible for any outstanding charges on your account and will receive a final bill. Thank you.”
So just like that, after 10 years of continuous service (and on-time bill payment I might add), I am no longer recognized as an AT&T customer. Even my phone number has JG’s name associated with it.
In a way, I suppose it’s a lot like what a traditional married couple goes through after tying the knot. The newly minted wife usually relinquishes the name she was known by her whole life and takes on an entirely new surname. She might be added as a secondary account holder to credit cards and bank accounts and may become a dependent under her husband’s health insurance. That’s the kind of stuff we are figuring out now. How to combine our finances and who should be the primary on various accounts.
The process of combining everything is simultaneously thrilling and intimidating. You enter into marriage with the best of intentions and combining finances can be an act that further solidifies your seriousness of purpose. But that doesn’t make it any less scary. I was the girl who had 3 savings account growing up, each one dedicated to whichever savings goal I had at the time. A new tv or trampoline, a class trip to Italy. I lived for saving money. JG can be a little more liberal with her spending, so trying to see eye to eye has been important.
On that front, we’ve had several money conversations over the past few months, each time hashing out another step in our plan. We are pretty respectful of the others’ opinion and we talk about which financial goals are most important to us and how we can work towards those goals together. It’s pretty awesome to be able to productively discuss a topic that can be a sensitive minefield for many couples. And it makes me happy that we are starting out on the same page. Money, whether a source of concern or comfort, can have a polarizing effect on a relationship and I think we are in good shape to head off most would-be disasters. We are a good team and I have high hopes for the future.