Since getting married 3.5 years ago, I have been urged by my husband and sister to combine accounts like a normal married couple. It is “the way it’s supposed to be,” and all that. I was not keen on the idea of this because I thought it would mean Cody analyzing every move I made with the bank account. How would Christmas work? Birthdays? He would be able to see where and how much I was spending which would ruin surprises for sure. And in the end, I realized I just didn’t want Cody to see how much I spend on unnecessary things.
But after several months of living from paycheck to paycheck, not knowing where our money was going, not knowing how the heck we were going to afford saving for a family, we decided to try a budget. We attempted this several times in the past couple years, actually. We would write everything down, trying to figure out how much money we needed for what. And in the end, on paper, we would have money left over. But in real life? Not so much. That extra cash did not seem to exist in real life. It was just… elusive. And we had no idea how to make this budget thing work. So it failed.
Finally we said “Ok, we will combine our accounts as soon as we get our (my) debt paid off.” I have a credit line that I had been a slave to for quite a while. When I could pay a few dollars off, by the next week or two I had dipped right back into it. One step forward, two back. I kept chipping away at it but it seemed that we would never get there.
And then a happy surprise check came in the mail one day last month. We were able to pay off all of my credit line debt, credit card debt, and a few other things, start a savings account, and create a combined account with BOTH of our names on it. Oh, and we also went out to dinner. Haha. It was such a huge, unexpected blessing!
But as all of this was happening, I was still skeptical of being under surveillance. Not knowing how much I could spend on random things. Somehow draining our account by accident and getting in trouble and ruining everything.
And then Cody, my cute, cute hubby, spent many hours of his time on creating a master budget excel sheet. Now there is a plan. A real plan that actually works. And I have to admit, I LOVE it! Even though I have a limit on my spending, at the same time I somehow feel like a rich person. Especially compared to where we were a few months ago.
And I don’t have to worry about any surprises being ruined! Cody figured out a plan full of fancy excel formulas. Our checks are deposited into the main account. Then we take out $300.00 ($300.00!) a month for emergencies and for our future family fund. This is a huge deal for us because until now we haven’t had any savings at all most of the time.
The bills come out of this master account, and a certain amount of money is deposited into our own accounts that we are allowed to spend on anything we wish. It is a very strange feeling to be able to spend a little cash on something I want and not feel guilt.
Actually I still feel guilt, but that is a gift I received from my …let’s just say “fiscally responsible” father, and I am working on squashing this habit.
So I am happy. We have had a weight lifted off our shoulders. And to think I was resisting this!