This week I’m taking a part of a “Blog Swap.” So instead of posting on my site today, I’m trading places with one of my fellow bloggers! I hope you enjoy hearing from a new perspective!
A lot of couples fight about money. I know my parents did while growing up and I know it’s caused a few minor spats between my fiancé and me. I know that money was a HUGE reason my brother and his wife split up. Why? Well, I have my theories on what happened with other people but I know what was going on between my fiancé and myself.
First up, I was a recovering shopaholic and he was still in spending mode. We had decided to pool our money together but didn’t do any other planning besides that. We paid our bills, had fun and that was about it—no savings, no real debt repayment going on, just everything up in the air. The game changer came when we both decided we seriously wanted a car and seriously wanted to get out of debt. What happened then?
WE GOT SERIOUS!
I took our paychecks and made a budget. The only bad thing was that our first budget was so rigid that we eventually cracked. We lasted about 2 months with no fun money, no date money, and everything going towards bills, savings, and some toward debt. And then we weren’t able to get the car that we wanted to—so we borrowed some money to eat out from the car fund. And then we borrowed money from it to go to the movies. Of course we had every intention of paying it back but we didn’t. We stopped budgeting and we stopped saving. We felt like failures. We did eventually get the savings up to get a car but didn’t really save beyond that.
But that didn’t last too long thankfully because I got a new job. With the new job, came a wakeup call to me. I wanted to be out of debt in the worse possible way. I was ashamed of how much debt I was in. But an important thing to note here: I didn’t hide the amount of debt from my fiancé (then boyfriend). I was honest and knew that he wasn’t even a quarter as much in debt as I was (still am).
We both pulled credit reports to find exactly what we owed and to who we owed. I created a spreadsheet budget and debt repayment plan. I created a balanced budget this time. But another important thing to note is that while I did create the budget, he had an equal say in it. After all, it was our money that we pooled into it so it was our budget that was created. How this works to this day is that I take our biweekly budget to him a day or so ahead of time and we go over it. I make sure that our financial goals are still the same and if he has any questions or suggestions we discuss them.
When planning a balanced budget with pooled money, it’s important to note that (in my opinion) fun money should be equal. I make more than he does but I get the same amount. Why? Because we’re equal partners in this relationship. We have a separate amount of date money. This way one of us doesn’t have to worry about taking the other out with their fun money. And it truly is our fun money—our one rule is that (within reason of course) the other person doesn’t get to naysay what the other one buys with their money. When we were sharing our fun money, he’d wonder why I needed another book and I’d wonder why he needed more beer. Now that issue has been solved!
We don’t fight about money anymore. I’m not up the half the night wondering how we’re going to pay our electricity bill because he wanted to be nice to me and bought me a present I didn’t need and that we can’t afford. He’s not worrying about buying that beer he likes because he has a set amount of money that he can spend on it and knows exactly what that amount is. We paid for our brake job on our car by budgeting in the amount needed and it didn’t break our wallet!
Editor’s note: it sounds like we’re really similar! I got pretty intense when I started our get-out-of-debt plan but we held out for a year and a half before we cracked. I also love how you mention the “fun money.” I actually talked about that in my post as well and it seems great minds think alike!
This post was written by BogofDebt. She’s a 27-year old that blogs about her finances and uses it as a way to keep her accountable on their get-out-of-debt journey! Please take some time to go check her site out!
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