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Steph’s Spouse Situation- Part Two

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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!

 

 

 

 


Steph’s Spouse Situation- Part One

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Sunday I wrote about my work situation.  Now, I want to talk about the relationship my husband and I have and how we deal with our debt.

My husband is a wonderful, wonderful man.  For our entire marriage if I were to merely mention that I want something he has done everything in his power to make it happen.   I don’t mean to say that he’s good because he gives me “stuff”.  What I mean is that he loves me and will do everything he can to make me happy. I cannot tell y’all how much I love that man.  Gushiness aside, we are totally different when it comes to just about everything and money management is no different.

I will nickel and dime us to death.  What I mean by that is big purchases cause great anxiety but a few dollars here and there don’t bother me at all. This drives my husband crazy because sometimes the nickels and dimes add up to more than a large purchase would. I will also settle for something because it’s less expensive than what I really want and so that costs us more in the long run.  This also drives him crazy.  He would rather pay more and get exactly what he wants than to settle or to buy something cheap that won’t hold up. He feels like we work hard so if we want something, and we can afford it, then we should get it.  I shared this line of thought for a long time but then I started to feel like getting out of debt was something that we needed to do.  It’s hard to explain but I just feel like it’s the right thing to do, does that make sense?  At first, he thought I was nuts.  He felt like we could afford our bills and what was the point of working hard if we couldn’t enjoy the financed fruits of our labor?  When he saw how much getting out of debt meant to me, he started to get more on board.

So, we started on this getting out of debt journey.  It wasn’t long before it was clear to both of us that while we were headed for the same goal, our reasons for reaching that goal were different. I want to get out of debt because I feel like getting into debt in the first place was wrong.  I feel like we had no business buying things that we didn’t have the cash for and I want to teach our girls that they should rely on God and themselves for all that they have, not some bank.  My husband has no problem with debt and feels like sometimes it’s smart to use the banks money to make our money work better for us. The reason he wants out of debt is because he wants to be able to retire in his fifties.  He wants us to be able to do what we want and not be tied down to work.

Our differing reasons haven’t been too much of a problem so far because the goal is the same. I’m hoping it stays that way.  What about y’all?  Do any of you find yourself in a similar situation with your partner?


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