Engagement is that strange, twilight period where you are still single in the eyes of the law, but that you have made promises to each other to become something more – a legally sanctioned partnership with all the rights and obligations accorded to you by the state. I am not sure how much impact an engagement has on most couples’ finances, but even though CB and I won’t be getting married until next June, the act of getting engaged, I feel, have already changed the way we look at our finances:
- I usually carry a small life insurance policy provided through my employer. In years past, I have always designated my mom as my beneficiary. During the most recent open enrollment, however, I put down CB’s name. I don’t know when CB started putting my name down as his beneficiary, but that apparently happened before my enrollment period.
- CB has a few thousand dollars in student loans from undergraduate years. I feel much more motivated now to figure out how we can pay off this debt before we go to graduate school, even though it’s not technically my loan. I know that whatever debt we have, even though they are individual loans, will affect our financial resources as a couple.
- We have stopped keeping very close track of who pays for what or how proportionally split our expenditures are. If I feel that he has been picking up a lot of the tabs lately, I’ll pay for our flights for a get away or the next Costco run.
- I’ve never thought I’d want a 100% combined finances set-up, but I am beginning to change my mind. The sense of partnership – of being in this together, with someone whom you do not have to calculate with or account for – is very appealing indeed. So I suppose being engaged, and really appreciating the feeling of shared resources, shared opportunities, shared goals makes me seriously think about combining finances once we are married.