Sunday Conversation #10 with Frugal Dad

Welcome to Sunday Conversation #10! If you would like to participate in next week’s Sunday Conversation, simply ask your question in the comments section of today’s post and I will respond next Sunday. Remember, any subject is on the table (but keep it family-friendly). 

“I just found your blog and I am enjoying catching up on all your posts. I was wondering if you might have a suggestion for a website that tracks CD rates. My Mother is a widow who is watching her pennies very carefully now that Dad is gone. She has money that needs to be rolled over and I know that there is a better way than watching the paper.”

- Janelle

Janelle, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad.  I know this is a difficult time for your family, and having financial responsibilities thrust upon your Mom makes it even more stressful for her.  As a fellow reader (Maha) recommended, I also find BankRate.com to be one of the best online sources for finding rate information.  In fact, BankRate.com also offers rate information on credit cards, mortgages, and a variety of other financial products.  Here are a few other sites that offer CD rate information:

I hope one of these sites will provide some leads. In a low-interest environment it is difficult find deposit products that offer high yields.  You may want to encourage her to check out a high-yield online savings account to park money moving in and out of CDs, or other investments.  This way she is at least earning a decent rate in the interim.

Where do you get the pictures you use on your blog? I’m working my way up to starting one of my own, but I know stock photos are expensive.”

- Maha

Maha, nearly all of the photos you see here at Frugal Dad are used under the Creative Commons license at Flickr.com.  Occasionally, I take my own pictures, such as those you may have seen of our garden.

“My other question is this, have you addressed or discussed separate spousal accounts? We do that, and we have a joint account to pay for household stuff. We each get an allowance to spend as we please. Just curious about what you and your readers might think of this.”

- Also from Maha

I know many couples who have separate accounts, and a joint account that they both contribute to for household bills, the mortgage, etc.  This scenario seems to work particularly well with couples who marry late, or who have been divorced before.  In other words, separate accounts seem to work better for those couples who have lived independently, financially, for some time prior to marriage.

My wife and I have had combined finances since the day we married.  All of our accounts are joint accounts, and we pay all expenses (except for those related to my freelance work) out of a single checking account.   I don’t think having separate accounts is a necessarily a problem, unless one partner is hiding finances from the other.  Hiding finances is a symptom of a dysfunctional relationship.  So if you maintain separate accounts make sure your partner knows about them.

Comments

  1. With regard to separate accounts: My wife and I have had separate accounts since we’ve been married, and we were very young (19 and 21) when we got married. This has worked out very well for us. We tried combining finances for about 3 months once, and it was a total disaster. In short, I think separate accounts are the way to go. No need to have a joint checking account to “pay the bills.” Just agree upfront what bills each will pay every month. Works for us.

  2. I love reading your blog. I read it almost daily! I know money is tight all around, but I have a challege for you! I challenge you to go to my blog and read it http://strivingtoliveeachdayhisway.blogspot.com/ then prayfully consider sponsering a child through compassion. It will change your life. We have a sponser child named Edelson and he is part of our family, we pray for him daily.

    Let me know if you were able to commit to a child or make a one time donation. Thanks! -Becky

  3. Dear Frugal Dad,

    I have an 8 year old daughter who is very… uh.. materialistic. I’m ashamed that she loves her “things” A lot of people say it’s her age. Is there any way to curb this obsession? (I know turning off the tv is probably a good start)

  4. Ooops! I’m a stay -at -home mom, so as such it’s really hard to EVER have money that my Hubby doesn’t know about! but because this year at Christmas I really want to be able to give him something as a surprise, so I opened a checking account and have (so far) saved $10! lol Anyway, since keeping this account from him (thus eliminating the surprise factor all together) isn’t good for our relationship (I never thought of it that way) so what would you or your readers recommend that I do for personal money?? It’ll be really great to give my hubby something… he works so hard and really deserves it, as he’s a great husband and dad. I just feel that he gets the short end of the stick in the ‘stuff’ department, cuz the house or kids always need something! Thanks for the great tips & ideas!

  5. Alexia,
    Seems like if you’re saving money to buy him a gift, that’s not really in the same vein as ‘hiding financial information’ from your spouse. Seems sort of like Christmas, actually. :-)

  6. @Alexia: I think think is perfectly acceptable. When I refer to hiding money, I’m really referring to hiding money to keep it from a spouse not eventually share it with them in the form of a gift. I think what you are doing qualifies you as a loving spouse.

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