Tuesday, September 27, 2005

And Two Bank Accounts Shall Become One

No, our pastor did not say that when he married us.:-) But like most everything else in our lives that became "ours" instead of "his" and "hers", so did our finances.
Out of all of our differences, it seems that the one that has the most potential to cause conflict is our finances. We simply do not manage money the same way! I like to save and see how far I can make the money reach. My husband appreciates this but has a more relaxed approach. "What good is saving money if we never get to do anything fun with it?", he asks.
We started out knowing that our finances could be a great source of conflict in our marriage. We talked about it at length and came up with a reasonable spending plan (budget) together. Then we got married.
Even though we were realistic in our dreams and goals, we still had a few suprises to deal with after the wedding. My first and major suprise came when I went to balance the checkbook and realized that my husband didn't make a habit of recording purchases in the checkbook register. I guess I thought that if I did that then most everybody else did too. He was disappointed to find that I didn't feel Hot Pockets were a necessity.
Well, we got over that one and decided that I would take care of the finances for the most part. We decide together how we are going to spend the money and then I pay the bills each month. We are both committed to tithing, so we do that first. We use mostly cash because it is easier for us to keep track of what we are spending. The envelope system works extremely well for us. If you are not familiar with this- you have an envelope for every category, such as groceries, eating out, personal allowances,gas money, hair cuts, etc. Into each envelope put the amount of cash you have specified for that category. Paying cash is a great help in not overspending. I think it is harder to spend cash because I can see it going. (We do use a debit card for certain things and we pay most of our bills with checks.)
Our different spending styles do help to balance us out. While my husband benefits from my planning and saving, he helps me to be more relaxed and not take it quite so seriously. He is very generous and I can learn a lot from that.:-) We each have our personal money each month. Some books refer to it as MIP(Marriage Insurance Premium) or personal allowances. We call it our play money. This is money that we each can spend however we choose. Even though it is only a small amount of cash each month, it is still very helpful.
We are still learning in the area of finances.(Dave Ramsey, Larry Burkett and Mary Hunt are full of good advice!) We know things will change as we go along. My husband helps me alot more with the bills now than he used to.He has become very good about recording purchases in the checkbook. I try not to stress out over every penny! And every once in a while, I reward him with a box of Hot Pockets.


PeacefulLady said...

Sounds like you're building a good foundation on the finance end. Way to go.

"And every once in a while, I reward him with a box of Hot Pockets." I like that. What does he get you? (grin)

DeafMummy said...

[quote]No, our pastor did not say that when he married us.:-[/quote]

That sounds like something your pastor has said. :P