Sunday, April 1, 2012

Budgeting: What works for us

Following on the tails of some discussion of budgeting in relationship on the interwebs I figured I would post what worked for us. I know it helps me when I read what works for other people.

This is my comment from Rachel's post, {living in sin} The Joint Checking Account.

When Matt and I had our budget conversation, partially assisted by your original post, thanks!, we sat down with our two paychecks for a month each and all of our bills (student loans, cell phones, car insurance/payments), plus adding to our savings. With that information we were able to figure out what we each were able to contribute towards the monthly bills (mortgage, utilities, cable, house taxes and insurance.) Because what we spend each month on groceries fluctuates we decided Matt would save receipts when he bought groceries and we’d total that up with what I spent* and we’d split the percentage.

One of the things that makes a joint checking account a hard sell for me is I use a Rewards credit card that I really like, I’ve had it for a while and racked up quite a few point. I can’t imagine changing from accumulating rewards to just using a debit account. (I’ve never not paid of my credit card in full at the end of a month.) Matt’s not as sold on the credit card rewards as I am, plus he likes the credit union he uses. I can’t change banks because of the mortgage, I received a discount when I purchased my (our) house.

I also learned that while I love playing with numbers and budgeting it can make Matt a bit uncomfortable. I was excited to sit down and budget last year, this year I’ll be more reserved and make less of a geeky deal about it.

Thank you for this post. It kickstarted a couple of questions for Matt and I as we enter our second year of living together and will be revisiting our budget again soon. This budget conversation will bring practical discussion of traveling, growing our family, wedding costs, possible business ventures we’re dreaming of, really where we want our money to go in the future and how to start that now.

One more thing, reading the Practical Wedding post this statement caught my attention,

“Second, marriage is about pulling together. It’s about building a life together, through thick and thin. When we don’t let our partners pay down our debt with us, not only are we not letting them love us and support us, but we’re also not letting them help-us-pay-off-the-damn-debt-so-we-can-save-for-a-downpayment-together (practical considerations, says the woman working hard to pay down her husband’s law school loans).” 

While we’re working to individually pay down our debt now I can definitely see our conversation next year moving towards the joint checking account and working together to chip away a debt to make those plans above become reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...