Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Budget Bitch

One of the hardest adjustments of being married has been merging our finances and coming up with a realistic budget that we both can stick too. With purchase of our new house, we're still trying to adjust and figure out how much all the new bills will add up to each month. Thankfully with Kristian's new job it makes bill paying much easier however I still continue to feel like it's impossible to stay ahead of the game and not be constantly worried about money/bills.

We both agreed that I would be in charge of paying the bills, watching the accounts and the budget etc. I'm just more organized and anal retentive with it comes to that stuff. But that also means that I'm the one constantly looking at the bank account and watching the money come in and more often go out and it's stressful, especially a few days before we're set to get paid again and the funds are running low.

You see I really don't like going below a certain amount in either our joint checking account or my personal checking account.  I think it's important to have some kind of buffer in there for any unexpected bills or expenses and I hate the idea of having to live paycheck to paycheck (though we more or less are). Don't get me wrong money gets put into savings immediately when we get paid but once it's in savings I consider it gone forever because it's not money we plan to use for a while.

So with all that said I can't help but feel like the budget bitch. Kristian is really good about always asking me before he makes any "unnecessary" purchase, to make sure there's enough money in the account for it and so that I won't get pissed when I see it unexpectedly show up online. Since he knows I'll see it on the account there's no point trying to hide it. And I do appreciate that but I also always feel bad when he calls wanting to buy something (usually right before we're due to get paid again) and I have to say no or tell him to wait a few more days so that the account won't get too low.

He says he doesn't mind and he appreciates that I'm watching the money so closely but I don't ever want him to feel like he's in prison or that I'm a stingy parent who won't ever let him buy anything fun with his own money.  I also hate feeling like a nag by telling him "okay try not to spend too much the next few days" or "do you really need to buy that right now?"  I try to factor miscellaneous purchases into the budget each month for such things but it's amazing how quickly that gets spent. It's a hard responsibility to have and I'm fortunate that he doesn't give me a hard time about it, but I still feel bad.

So I'm curious how it works in other relationships. Are you the one in charge of the finances? Do you have to put spending restrictions on your partner? Am I the only one that feels bad having to say no?

13 comments:

Marian said...

Can I just say that Liam and I should have had the budget talk before we got married because we nearly got divorced while discussing it after getting married. He wanted us to just have a joint checking and savings account and we both separately have savings accounts...but I still wanted to keep my checking account. He spends a whole lot more money than I do throughout the month...and though he does get paid more, I wasn't comfortable with him taking that money out of our joint account when we both weren't benefiting from his purchases (lunches at work and beers with friends). Eventually we came to an agreement that we both would keep our own checking accounts as well and the joint account would only be used for joint/house purchases. However, I am religiously checking it because he ALWAYS forgets to add money into it...and I'm super anal like that. I'm a total budget bitch...but part of me thinks I'm just looking after our "Happily Ever After"...work hard now so we can enjoy later (though if I keep working hard...I hope:)

carrie1 said...

Chris and I have this discussion ALL the time and we don't even have an account together... He is the saver.. I'm the spender. I use to be really good at saving my money.. but I am just at that point to where I want all my debt gone so that's where majority of my money goes.

Teenage Bride said...

we deal with finances jointly. it can get a little stressful.... but we just keep each other informed, make decisions together, and in the end it all works out.

Laura @ Wine and Cheese, Please said...

We have most of our finances together but we kept our seperate accounts so we could each have a set amount of "play" money each month. We actually did this not because we wanted to keep something "seperate" but because I thought it would be easier for me to track things on our spreadsheet. The only things we pay for out of our separate accounts are things like happy hours with friends and clothes. Everything else pretty much comes from the joint account. It's worked pretty well for us so far and eliminates a lot of those conversations.

Bicoastal Bride said...

We each have our own accounts for small personal purchases, and we typically have one credit card we both use for large purchases which are discussed ahead of time. It's worked out very smoothly so far!

april said...

I can't do math so I don't handle the budget. When we got married, we were both just out of college and had nothing. I didn't even have a job yet. So, we started off with joint accounts (though I have a teeny credit union account I've had forever so teeny it doesn't really count). We're to the point where I clear anything over, say, $50 but we're in a good place. That said, it still will be challenging going on the extended family trip to Disney this summer and I kind of hate that we're being pushed to go when I'd rather save for a house, but it'll be worth it to have Laura go when she's young enough to enjoy it.

Melissa said...

I'm the "budget bitch" at our house too. It's hard and very stressful sometimes. It's gotten easier but we've been married 9 months and we're still learning.

Morgan said...

This is the thing I dread most about getting married. If Guy and I ever fight, it's on money. I dread combining finances!

bekapaige said...

Thankfully we are both "little spenders" and "big savers" - meaning that while we both like to go out to dinner or buy ice cream, we don't like spending money regularly on "unnecessary" things. I think unnecessary means something different to everyone because of hobbies/interests/even needs. We both prioritize savings more - but, he is the one who does the long-term planning of our budget, and figures out what we need to do weekly/monthly to achieve certain goals or to have a specified amount to purchase something big, so sometimes it feels like he's working so hard on the budget, and I mess it up! :( But he likes me, so I think it ends up being ok most of the time! :)

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I am JUST like you and I am so glad I'm not the only one that likes to have a buffer in the checking account. It drives my hubs nuts because he claims that if we have the money we should spend it. However, I like to have a little money in case something happens. I don't want to have to dip into savings every time we have an emergency, I'd rather have a little extra put away.

I'm in charge of paying our bills, keeping track of savings and all of that. It can give me a headache, especially when D doesn't check with me about something, but it makes me feel good to have the control.

Meg said...

I feel you pain girl. I too am in charge of fiances, it is ok though. He too keeps an eye of it online so he knows what available to spend. It works out well for us because he doesn't have to ask if he can spend something, he just knows.

Kelsey712 said...

I'm the budget bitch, too... and you're right, it does suck. I feel like I'm the one concerned with the checking accounts and the credit card and Drew is like EEEHHHH.... We'll take care of it.

We have money in two different savings accounts and also have a "Christmas" account that we put money into each paycheck that helps to even things out, but sometimes its a little frustrating.

Oh well, I guess it just is what it is!

Nicole-Lynn said...

When we get married (this weekend yeyyy!) we are getting a joint account and each having our own seperate saving accounts. I think for us, it will be important to share our main checking account and consult eachother for large purchases. My fiance is the saver, and budgeter.. he's wonderful with keeping track of everything, making sure bills are paid on time, etc. While I am good with money, I'm quite forgetful of when things are due, so he will be the hone managing our finances when we're married. It's what we've agreed on :)