Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wedded Wednesday on a Thursday (again)- Budgetting

Oh EM GEE What a big topic to attempt!

And I promise I'll eventually post more pictures, because that's what we all really want, isn't it?

So my mom is an accountant (wowza, you're snoozing already, I bet).  And as the daughter of an accountant, I had my own bank account and budget at 16 (SIXTEEN people!).  The format has never changed.  I love it that much.

Anywho, when Mike and I began discussing money as a couple I quickly learned that my situation was rather unique.  Mike didn't have a budget.  Didn't know how to really manage money.  So we basically just adopted my budget.

Still, I doubt Mike really knows how to manage our money, how the bills are paid, etc.  I basically handle it all.  I need to fix this, but that's for another day and time.

Oh, what?  You want to know how our budget works?  Gladly.  I love it.  I keep an excel sheet.  I have a separate column for each week, dated on pay day, because quite frankly that's just easiest.  At the top I have a separate row for what's in the bank and each type of income- My job, one for each of Mike's jobs, a babysitting line, a freelance line (Mike does freelance here), and then a misc other line.

Below the income section I have a bills section- a separate row for each bill- cable, insurance, mortgage, credit cards, internet, car payment, bajilions and bajilions student loan payments, etc.  And then I also have a separate row for weekly expenses like groceries, gas, pet stuff, dates, car maintenance, etc.  Things that are variable.

And then at the bottom I have the total rows- a total for income, a total for expenses, and then a total of what's left.  Yay.  Simple?  It actually looks really scary, but it's not.

We have everything we can think of budgeted, but our problem is there is just not enough money.  Ever.  Especially with Mike working part time.  I have the budget trimmed as much as we could.  We can survive.  For now.  Which is the important part.  The problem is, though, the budget is trimmed a little too much- we can't stay in budget.

And it's usually because of groceries.  How do you people eat healthy on a budget?  We just can't do it.  We can't get everything we need and still make the budget.  So then it comes out of our spending money, so something else gets cut (like my haircut... it's been pushed back way too much).

Anyways, eventually the goal is to have a comfortable amount of income.  At that point we will have 4 separate accounts in our house (cuz that's how we roll).  We think the ultimate goal is to have 1 checking and 1 savings account for the family.  Then when we are making enough money to exceed our daily needs, we will each have a separate account for what we have left over.  This will mainly be for things like buying gifts or other such luxuries (books in my case).

How do we decide how much each contributes to the joint expenses?  We'll determine that when we're actually making enough, I guess.  My assumption right now is that it'll be set up to where we each are getting the same amount of money for our own separate accounts- so who ever is making more will contribute more to the bills.

I'm curious how your house runs, though.  Money is one of those wedded subjects that no one normally wants to talk about.  It's sticky.  What have you found that really works?  What have you found that really doesn't?  How do you divide things when the income isn't even?  How do you handle things when the money is just plum gone?  Because I'll be honest- we are rather young, and we're still a young couple.  We are still testing the waters, and we're finding the pool is deeper than we thought in this particular category.

1 comment:

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Budgets are so hard! I can totally relate to all of these sentiments. Food is a big budget eater for us...we spend between $450-500 a month on groceries for the three of us (I AM I guess I could really say 4 of us...hahaha). But eating healthy is such a priority. Hair cuts on the other hand...I haven't had one in 6 months.