This morning I talked about how my husband and I differ on our reasons for getting out of debt. In this post I want to talk about how we handle our finances.
Our money has always been just that, ours. I have no problem with people who split money responsibility, my brother and his wife do it and it seems to work for them just fine. We, however, have always put all our money together and I am the gatekeeper of the bills. My husband tells me everything he spends and most of the time will call and ask me if a certain purchase would be a problem. I understand that some men would feel like they make the money so they should be able to spend it how they see fit and again, that’s fine but this is what works for us. We both view this as a partnership and he knows if I say “don’t spend $ right now” that there is a financial reason for it and he doesn’t take it personally. Now, sometimes he will say I want <insert item here>, what would it take to make that happen? We then figure out a budget together and he purchases what he wants when it’s financially possible.
**I do not mean to say that people who separate their money into mine and yours aren’t partners. I am a firm believer that just because something works for me does not mean that it should work for you. Also, my way is not the right way, it’s just what works for us. Moving on…..**
This is how it works:
Twice a month both of our paychecks get direct deposited into our bank account. A certain amount comes out of my husbands check and gets direct deposited into our credit union account. This pays the car note and the loan payment. The rest of the money gets divided up among our bills as I see fit. Before we were making a concerted effort to get out of debt I would decide how much would be paid toward each debt. I always paid more than the minimum but how much more varied from month to month. Now that our goal is getting out of debt, we discuss what needs to be paid off and in what order. I let him know how much I’m paying toward what but again actual amounts are my decision. Every two weeks I look at our bills (electricity, water, ect.) and I figure out how much to pay toward whatever it is we are trying to pay off.
There are down sides to this. Sometimes he forgets to tell me that he’s gotten gas, or bought lunch for a coworker because they didn’t have their wallet. This used to be a real problem but now I check our online account daily and if I see something that he didn’t mention I can ask about it to make sure its a legitimate charge and not a fraudulent one that I need to check into. Another con would be that all the money responsibility is a heavy weight for me to carry sometimes. When we get into arguments about money it’s easy for me to feel like I’m the one with the burden and he is the one that gets to tiptoe through the tulips. For the most part though, I like it. If I didn’t know exactly what was going on with our money I think I’d have some sort of breakdown and my husband is so easy going that the arrangement works for him too.
That’s it in a nutshell. If there was anything that isn’t clear or if you have other questions, please let me know!