I'm good at budgeting, partner is not(8 Posts)
Up until two years ago I was a single parent living of part time income + tax credits. No maintenance for my children.
During that time I turned budgeting into a bit of an art form. I have always had a policy of only spending money if I really need to and I will always check what I have before buying anything, meal plan, freeze leftovers etc. I always spend like I had no money, even when I'd just been paid so when I needed the money it was these. DP has always been worried that I deprive myself of things and encourages me to treat myself occasionally.
DP always seemed quite good at budgeting as he lived on a very tight budget before we moved in together. And he is really good at checking prices and getting the best deals etc but he isn't very organised and has this annoying habit of replacing things because they are lost or not looking in the fridge at what needs using up before making dinner using stuff from the freezer. He also will buy lunch or drinks out a lot of the time which doesn't help. He is a bit of a payday spender and then panics half way through the month when we are poor again.
We have joint finances. We do find we disagree about money quite a lot as I can see money being wasted. We do have money is savings (but not really because it was saved, because of a little bit of inheritance) so we are not on the breadline but we do struggle to live within our means each month.
Anyone got any advice on how to even out our money expectations. He does listen to what I say but gets a bit defensive whenever I mention anything. I try and lighten up but have a tendency to worry. Is there one person who takes hold of the purse strings in your household?
I think you'd be happier with separate finances, wouldn't you?
I have one of those at home myself. It would be very strange to him if I suddenly switched from joint accounts to single. The waste of money drives me insane especial when I've spent all week meal planning and using coupons. Only to see him come home with a pile of junk. I'll be watching this thread.
Have an account each that wages get paid into and a joint where you each put half the rent/mortgage/utility bills.
If he runs out of cash do not bail him out. We do this and don't argue about money.
Switching completely to separate finances isn't an option. I am the main breadwinner but I am able to work full time because of his flexible work pattern which means childcare for my kids, his son (and one of my friend's children who repays the favour) is all covered without paying out any money for childcare. So my income is higher, but it is higher because of the physical support I get.
We have discussed having personal budgets for things we want ourselves, we just haven't worked out the best way to do this or what our budget would be. Every time we have discussed it, something goes wrong with one of the cars or there is another big expense so the ideas gets put on hold.
Justbattering - glad I am not the only one.
I agre with Fluffy - a joint account for household bills/expenses (preferably without a cashcard) and then a separate account each for personal spending with an agreed amount for each person. Then no dipping into the joint account mid-month and no bailing each other out.
Have you made a plan together for the savings/inheritance? If it's for something specific in the future (house deposit/car) then some sort of fixed term account/bond might stop it being frittered away. My step sisters were both given £20k at 25 and both talked about using it for house deposits, but both lost it gradually over the following 10 or so years with nothing to show for it at the end. The younger one is still trying to get a deposit together and the elder one has given up.
You've already discussed having 'pocket money' so if dp is agreeable just do it! That's what we do. All money goes in one account and then the day after pay day some money goes into another account for emergencies, such as the cars, Christmas, one off payments like insurance (cheaper to pay all at once). We also have a personal account each where our pocket money goes. This covers clothes, hair cuts, going out, alcohol and anything that's non essential to running the home. We currently get approx 10% of the total income each but it's been considerably lower in the past.
What we used to do was basically have everything paid into one account, budget for bills and essentials, and then have a set amount we could take out each week (in cash) to cover everything else.
Getting that reset button each week is useful (eg if you run out of money on a Wednesday, you don't have long to wait before you have your next bit). It simplifies things in that you know all your bills are covered. We used to take money out on a Friday too so that the weekend comes first and you don't run out of money for it!
We're much better now and are a lot more careful but we still take out our spending money on a Friday. Nowadays though we budget for things like clothes and haircuts from the main account so the spending money is much less than it once was.
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