My wife and I sat down today and mapped out our expenses for the next 6 weeks based on my pay periods. We figured out which bills needed to be paid during which pay period, and took the remaining amount of money after all the bills were paid and figured out where that money needed to go. We are going skiiing in a week, then the mayhem of Christmas, and then my best friend is getting married, so we will have a busy next three weeks. Sitting down and communicating about where the money needs to go and how much we have to spend on each category will save about 10 or 12 arguments in the next three weeks. We are both on the same page now, and there will be no surprises when we are spending our money.
If you have read this blog before, then you know that I am a strong proponent of joint bank accounts with married couples. There is no excuse you can throw at me that will convince me that it is a good idea to have separate accounts in the long term. The importance of communication is the main reason why I believe in joint accounts. If I had my own little account and she had her own little account, there would be no reason for us to sit down together and budget out our money except for saying, “Okay, i’ll pay for this, if you pay for that”. No, I don’t buy that. Marriage is not a joint venture. It’s the bringing together of two people and acting as one unit.
We have made strides in the past month with making our money behave. We know exactly how much money is coming, and we know exactly where it is going. We may not know penny-for-penny what we paid for, but at the end of the month we are 100% positive that we spent $170 on groceries, $110 on gas, and so on. Freedom with your finances occurs when you start taking control of it. If you communicate with your spouse about your budget, hold each other accountable for sticking to it, and encourage each other when you win with finances, then you’ll have a stronger relationship with your spouse and a much happier life.