Money and Marriage

on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

As we all know, S and I were married this past March. As newlyweds, we have come to realize we have a lot of issues that we did not talk through before we got married, which is a whole different post for a whole different day. This has caused us to reexamine how we deal with money and also how we discuss financial matters. We have similar spending styles but that's about where the similarities end regarding financial matters.

Before we were married, neither of us spend more than we can afford but we did this differently. I had a reoccurring bills account which I put a set amount into each month for bills that happen irregularly. I also tracked every purchase I made in budgeting software and balanced all of my accounts each month, not only the checkbook. S didn't do any this. He would spent as he saw fit and then use a whole paycheck to pay the car insurance when it came due or for Christmas presents. He never checked his statements against his checkbook registry because he never had a checkbook registry. He never missed a payment or a holiday so this must have worked for him for for me it would have been disastrous.

Now, that we're married we've both had to make changes in this area. To make things work as smoothly as possible, we each have maintained our own accounts. I use my checking account to pay the bills because I can't handle yet another account on top of our numerous savings accounts. I use mostly cash for my fun money as it keeps my spending in check and does not allow for me to accidentally use money set aside for bills. He uses his checking account for all of his purchases other than bills such as gas and fun money. I handle paying all of the bills but he is clued in on what is due when and knows how to use my budgeting software if necessary. This is an area where he doesn't mind giving up control and I thank him for this. I'm a bit of a control freak and if I didn't physically pay the bills I'd worry constantly that they were not getting paid.

As we become more accustom to marriage and settled into our own apartment this may change. We have some pretty extensive financial goals we would like to accomplish in a short period of time and once we do this our money management system may change. For now, this system is working for us and we are comfortable with it.