Happy holidays, everyone!
To the tens of people who have already found our blog, welcome back! We are so happy you are here. Soon we will have things like an email sign-up so you can be notified when we have a new post up. As you may have noticed, the arrival of the holiday season has already thrown us off track and we are two weeks behind putting up another post.
We have been thinking of you, though, and trying to figure out what kind of content you would like. Your comments will help us! Please let us know what’s on your mind when it comes to budgeting, combining finances, frugality, etc.
As far as combining finances is concerned, this is something AmBux and I have personal experience with and have strong feelings for. Managing money and paying off debt as a couple can be a bonding experience, but it can also be crazy hard. When two people meet at the budgeting table, each with their personal beliefs about spending and saving, some arguments are bound to occur. In my opinion, though, it’s worth it to push forward in order to work together on financial goals.
Let me pause before I get too far ahead of myself: Even though a lot of stuff on our blog is very personal, how you and your partner do or do not combine finances is unique to every couple. You can find lots of articles from various financial sources about the pros and cons of merging finances with your partner and the varying ways to do it. Separate accounts entirely, joint accounts entirely, separate AND joint accounts… so many ways to do this. There is no right or wrong way, I am just writing here about our experience and what has worked best for us.
I really didn’t want to combine our finances at first. It felt like a big emotional vulnerability. I know AmBux felt similarly. I remember thinking, “Now she’s going to nitpick me for the littlest purchase. She’s going to see I went to Wendy’s for lunch. She’s going to see I what I spent at happy hour.” When I scrutinized my reactions, though, I realized that I was also feeling the normal adjustments of going from no budget and not paying attention to where money was going to carefully considering how I was spending my money. And having that joint account meant that I wasn’t just accountable to myself, I was also accountable to my partner.
It’s been instrumental to our debt payoff to have our finances combined. For us, it made such a difference to set up direct deposit for both of our paychecks into one account and pay all bills from that account. We also have the breakdown of our student loans that we are paying off smallest to largest, but when we talk about it we just talk about the lump sum. We have a certain amount of debt. It just works better for us than thinking of it as my loans and her loans. Working with our money this way helps us budget and figure out where all our money is going every month. We can plan how much extra we’ll be able to send to the loans each month. Combining our finances has helped us to communicate with each other. We talk about money all the time. We are on the same page, working as a team toward our common goal of debt payoff but also other, long term goals and dreams. We still get frustrated and have disagreements, of course, but working through it helps us understand each other better and build a stronger marriage.