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?