What a great series we’ve had on marriage and finance! I just wanted to wrap things up by giving my two cents (pun intended) and also a public commitment to doing better about our own finances.
Those were my initial ideas. When the posts started coming back to me, I was thinking, “Hmm, I thought these posts would all be different, but they all talk about budgeting.” And then it hit me that DUH! Budgeting IS what you should do if one spouse is a saver and the other a spender. It’s the answer to how to strengthen your marriage without spending money and how to make financial decisions together with your spouse. It’s kind of the key ingredient to not fighting with your spouse over money.
And I was so hoping there’d be another way 😉
I found it rather awkward to ask someone to write the post “When One Spouse is a Saver and the Other is a Spender” (‘hey you seem to spend a lot of money and your spouse doesn’t right?’ or ‘hey your spouse seems to be spending a lot of money and you don’t, right?’ either way . . . awwwkward) So I was going to write it myself because, I am more of a spender and Rich is more of a saver. For the visual learners:
Rich and I, if our budget history were to be depicted in a graph- it would look more like a heart rate monitor with sporadic peaks and troughs than a linear progression through the years. Last week as I’ve analyzed why this is, I’ve come up with two reasons.
The first comes from Eean’s post when he said (over and over) that a budget’s success or failure is completely dependent on your dedication to tracking your spending. Huh. Total light bulb moment for me. I keep wanting to be more consistent with budgeting so I keep signing up for these free online programs thinking they will be the answer. But, to be honest, those weekly emails from Mint.com or my bank or whatever else I sign up for don’t tend to influence my spending behavior much. Time to start tracking my spending myself!
The second reason I came up with is that I’ve never scheduled a regular time to do the budget into my (or our) schedules. I keep thinking I will do it, but if I don’t plan on when, it gets bumped down to the bottom of my to-do list. And the bottom of my to-do list tends to be a sad, lonely and neglected place.
So. New plan! Rich and I have decided to track our spending diligently for the next three months (as per Eean’s suggestion). To do this we will keep all our receipts and while we’re watching a show on Thursday nights- we’ll collect all the receipts and write them into our budget categories. Then, after three months, we’ll calculate a more exact budget and still write down all our expenses on Thursday nights.
It’s gonna work guys. I’m committing to the internet to stick to a budget for a whole year. I’ll report back hopefully with a post called, “How We Stopped Fighting About Purchases and Solved All Our Problems and Became Filthy Rich.” In case you don’t recognize us at that time, we’ll look something like this: