We are set up with joint checking (all weekly/monthly expenses are paid from here), a short-term savings (bigger and less frequent bills like automobile insurance and vacations result from here). Short term savings is utilized every couple of months and limited to very specific reasons. Long-term savings/money market accounts (this holds our emergency finance and We utilize this to save for things such as a new car or house improvements). Each one of these accounts has computerized deposits.

We do have our very own credit cards, on a monthly basis which receives a commission off, and our very own investment accounts. This works for us. We do not do “yours and mine” we do “ours”. That said, my brother and his wife got married later in life and decided to keep it individual. They have their own accounts also. To each their own.

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His Grandparents farmed there, but eventually lost all their land credited to bad business dealings. His own Father committed suicide, so his mother – a formidable woman – worked investing second mortgages to put her three children through City College. He graduated, got a rules degree, and went to work in a Brooklyn firm representing what’s now Citibank.

He worked well his way up to partner, transferred to Westchester and was elected mayor – probably the first, last, and only Democratic mayor of this populous city. A committed new-dealer, he was involved in building new banking rules during the great despair also. But they were hardly wealthy by Westchester standards, or indeed, even today.

He had a good four-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood, but it was a mansion barely. They had a cleaning lady, so when he retired, he bought a Cadillac, which in the past was considered a “nice car”. They were comfortable, but rich hardly. And what wealth he had, he up earned from the ground, one dollar at the same time.

One reason he never became wildly rich was probably the high income tax rates in the past – and we’ll get back to those later. With marginal rates as high as 70%, it was hard to accumulate dynastic wealth. And with increasing property taxes, owning a extravagant “white elephant” house was out of the question for him.