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Outie July 23, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Home Life, Marriage, Vacation.
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I guess it’s only natural right before I leave for a week and a day that the firey gates of hell would open and a huge insurmountable problem would arise at work. Right? That and the totally unnecessary argument Brian and I got into yesterday and, well – I’M READY TO BLOW THIS POPSICLE STAND.

I’m curious. I know money is something most every couple gets into it about every so often, but I’m telling the God’s honest truth when I say it’s something we’ve rarely fought over. Mostly due to the fact you can’t fight about something that DOESN’T EXIST, HAHA! But seriously. We’ve had our struggles and we’ve had our times when things were okay and while both of us don’t very often want something that costs a great deal, when that does happen to one of us the other person doesn’t deny it; we just go about ways in which to get the person’s wanted item without going into debt or eating canned corn for a week.

Things have been going (knock wood) better lately financially, so you’d think this wouldn’t be a prime time to have a money fight. Well sucka, you’d be wrong. And what it boiled down to was a misunderstanding over a smallish bill; something that could’ve easily been avoided if better communication had happened beforehand. So we’ve agreed: when I get back from Florida and the new month begins (which coincide with each other, conveniently enough), we’re sitting down together and thoroughly going over EVERYTHING and coming up with a budget that’s easily accessible to both of us. While I’ve shouldered most of the responsibility of the bill paying tasks for the entirety of our relationship, it’s time to share the job and we both think this.

Not trying to be nosy (but totally being nosy), I’m curious – what are some of the practices and/or solutions youse guys have worked out in order to not have stupid money fights? I am open to anything and all ideas and thoughts are appreciated.

Now I must burn the last of my road cd’s, get the funk out of here, go talk to my brain doctor, go home, pack, have a fun night with my boys and get all ready to get on the road again tomorrow morning.

I’m ready.

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Comments»

1. morethananelectrician - July 23, 2009

We haven’t had a money fight…but I am hands off in that department. Of all things we are in agreement about that…and you know that we have issues. I do think a big part of this is that there is a plan and one person handles it…mostly. Decisions can be worked out together, but is is on her list of duties. We talk when we need to move money from one place to another or that things are looking remarkably tight one month…

That is when I start pimping again…

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

Sounds like a good plan.
And a good back-up plan for when money is tight – just throw that toolbelt on and you’re good to go!

2. Swistle - July 23, 2009

Money isn’t one of our big issues (we have other common fights, including housework). I handle the money, based on a basic set of plans we worked out together (verrrrrry basic, like, “Hey, let’s see if we can avoid excessive debt!” and “Let’s see if we can send a little extra to the mortgage from time to time!”) We also each get a small petty-cash allowance each month, to handle the stuff where one of us is “THAT IS STUPID TO SPEND MONEY ON!!!” and the other one is “OMG MUST HAVE IT!!!”

crisitunity - July 23, 2009

That petty-cash allowance is the best idea ever.

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

I love the petty cash idea. He knows I have a Target habit and I know he has a poker habit and as long as those don’t cut into the grocery habit, we’re okay.

3. iamheatherjo - July 23, 2009

The only way John and I wouldn’t have argued about finances would have been to take his ATM card away. Hahaha!! I had to check our bank account online every single day and I’d communicate with him how much we had in the band and he would STILL go ahead and use the damn thing in amounts exceeding our balance.

I gave up and split our accounts back in two (after he LIED about a deposit). I payed the rent, he payed the utilities and had to handle his own gas, lunches and stuff like that. I handled my stuff and groceries. He was all butt hurt about it but after a bunch of overdraft fees on his own damn account, he felt some of my pain!

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

Mr. Redneck of our Redneck friends is just like this. She had to take his ATM card away like he was a stupid teenager. Which he pretty much is. Teenager in a 30-year-old redneck body.

4. Shari - July 23, 2009

I think it’s interesting how many females in the relationship are the ones handling the money. But this brings us to the point you made, that you and Brian are going to tackle it together. This is the point that Tim and I have come to recently. We don’t really fight about money, but upset was coming from the fact that I had to handle it all, and then inform him. I’m much happier now that we do it together. Now he knows what’s what and where instead of asking me. I just felt like it was too much weight on my shoulders. Now there is an actual budget. And once a week, usually Fridays or Sundays, we sit at the computer and do the bills. We have a chart and we write down when we pay a bill, so we can easily look to see what’s been paid. That way unusual ones like the “bug guy” don’t get overlooked. Ours is still a work in progress, but it’s getting there, and I feel less stressed because I’m not the sole one in charge of it.

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

Shari, this is EXACTLY what we talked about doing last night. Even though it’s not fun, if we can sit at the computer at least once a week I think Brian will feel better about everything because he’ll be so much more aware of what the situation is. Not that I kept it from him before, but we never made a point to sit down and actually work at it.

5. Shari - July 23, 2009

Oh, and have a great trip. It sounds like you need to get the hell outta Dodge!

6. rai - July 23, 2009

Hello! Stumbled on over here from Snerkology and thought I’d toss my experience in here. What I found works best is to first put together a budget, only including the things that have to be paid (rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, groceries, World of Warcraft) (What!? There’s bonding and aggression release and..um…yeah). That money goes into an account that is dedicated to only those expenses. I figured out by percentage how much each of us would have direct deposited to the account. The rest of the money goes into individual accounts (or one secondary shared account). Once the secondary account is on its last legs, no more eating out, buying DVDs or what have you.

The budget is on an Excel spreadsheet and I enter all the items from the primary account and have it calculate the difference between what’s expected and what we actually paid. This figures out the amount that gets deposited into savings, or pulled from savings to cover the difference.

For us it works best if I’m the boss of the money and run the budget by him and we discuss and agree on any large purchases. Admittedly, I am the anal-retentive one, so this is better for both of us.

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

Hi there!
I love the idea of the spreadsheet and yesterday I made up a simple one even though I didn’t have a lot of time, just to show him what it will look like. He liked it too.
And yes, Call of Duty and NCAA Football has to fit in the budget somewhere too!

7. crisitunity - July 23, 2009

BF and I are obviously not married, but we do live together. Maybe it’s because we’re not married that we have split it down the middle the way we have, but I’ve always felt that it’s because my debt is so crushing and it’s all my own debt and my responsibility.

BF pays for the utilities, the groceries, for us to go out to eat, and occasionally for fun things for me like books etc. He also pays the Netflix man. I pay the majority of the mortgage, the condo fee, and all my own bills. For most of the months this year I was also giving him something to help him pay off his credit card bill, because it’s quite high and I want him to pay it off faster than he is managing on his own.

We pretty much never fight about money. But we pretty much never fight about anything.

Kimmothy - July 24, 2009

My sister and her husband had a similar arrangement when they lived together and it carried over after they got married. Seems to work really well for them too.

8. retropink - July 24, 2009

De-lurking to comment. My husband & I have two checking accounts. Both our names are on each account, but one is primarily mine and the other his. Our respective paychecks are deposited into our own accounts. We’ve split the bills based on percentages. I make more money, so I pay the mortgage, the car, credit cards I had in my name before we were married, my student loan (almost done!) He pays everything else. If we ever need the other to pay a bill b/c funds are low, we discuss it and take care of it. Each of us also knows how much we have to play with for our own needs like books, DVDs, whatever. It’s worked out well for us and I don’t ever have to hide where I’ve shopped for Christmas & birthdays. 🙂

Kimmothy - August 2, 2009

Hi – thanks for commenting!
I like the idea of percentages. There have been times I’ve made more than him and vice versa and that seems like a really fair way to deal with the bills.

9. Laura - July 24, 2009

We don’t really fight about money unless I screw up somehow. I am the Money Mistress in our household, and it’s been that way since we first got together. Sometimes I forget to pay a bill, and sometimes we dip into overdraft, and then Calvin lets his opinions fly. Mostly, though, we don’t fight about what we don’t have.

Kimmothy - August 2, 2009

This sounds the most like us.

10. Whiskeymarie - July 27, 2009

The Mr. does all the money stuff, as his mind wraps around things like due dates, numbers, and such and such. I did it for the first 5 years or so of the marriage, but then one day I just gave it all to him. He doesn’t mind- he likes being hyper-organized with this stuff, and I like not having to deal with it. Luckily, we are FINALLY at a place financially where it isn’t so paycheck-to-paycheck, so the stress level where money is concerned is pretty low. We only keep one checking account and one savings account, both of which we both have access to. (knocks on wood) We haven’t had any money issues in a looooong time.

I make more $$ than him, I do pretty much all the cooking, a larger percentage (MUCH larger) of the cleaning, I do most of the decorating, I deal with the phone calls to customer service reps when needed, and I do the majority of the “pet maintenance”. If he has to do the bills and occasionally fix things/build things/deal with the electronics, he best not complain. The way I see it, he’s got it pretty cushy as it is.

Kimmothy - August 2, 2009

AGREED.
Man, it’s no wonder us women occasionally lose our minds.

11. dyskinesia - July 27, 2009

For the first 12 years of our relationship, I pretty much ran the accounts. BC/BM (before child/before mortgage), I’d pay everything and then get us each $0-40 from the ATM for that pay period to cover gas, etc., based on what I knew would be coming due before we got paid again. If we wanted something bigger, we tried to save from that. It worked pretty well.

Then all kinds of hell broke loose – moving, surgeries, kid in special school and therapies out the wazoo – and we’re in debt up to our eyeballs. So for the last few years, we’ve been trying to figure out something that will work and just haven’t been very successful. We’ve made a little progress which, in light of the fact that we’ve added to the debt and have refinanced the house, seems like we’ve done something really good. Still, almost only counts in horseshoes and torpedos.

One of the coolest things I’ve seen is software called You Need A Budget: http://www.ynab.com The inventor is a great guy who came up with the idea to manage his own finances and has just built it up from there. Very affordable, free instruction, forum, upgrades forever, and it really makes sense. I personally have ADD and SUCK when it comes to saving receipts, so I have yet to make it continuously work for me — but don’t let my total lack of discipline dissuade you: It’s a fantastic program that makes total sense.

Like Shari, I’ve used a chart every month. I also keep a binder that has all of the account info, phone numbers, websites, logins, etc., so that either of us can handle things. For the last couple of years, the stress of all of it has been hard on me, and I’ve let a lot of things go in not a good way. So we’ve been saying that we’ll attack it together and never seem to have time or gumption to sit down and do it. We’re in the same boat though. We HAVE to, so I was really glad to see you asking about it too.

Kimmothy - August 2, 2009

I’m so looking into that program; it sounds like EXACTLY what we need. Thank you!

12. Jean - July 28, 2009

Our money is separate. I pay for some things, he pays for other. I handle the day to day expenses, he takes the biggies (taxes, insurance, heating costs).

This ONLY works because he’s thrifty and trustworthy. The only money topic we argue about is who is paying. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked about going out for dinner, then end up tiffing about who’s going to buy. So we stay home. And I cook the food that I paid for. Hey, I’m getting screwed.

But we save SO MUCH MONEY. Or he does. Hee!

My dad gave me the best advice when I was young – and I still live by it – if you owe any money anywhere, not a cent you have in your pocket is yours until that money is paid back. You don’t have play money. And my mom taught me that it’s ok, it’s RIGHT, to want things/stuff. The problems come when you’re unhappy without them. Stuff does not equal happy.

Kimmothy - August 2, 2009

Your parents sound very wise!
We very rarely go out to eat and I know that goes a long way toward not wasting money. It’s pretty much the ONLY good thing we do in that area!


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