After your married the hardest thing
(besides learning to live with a boy for the rest of your life)
is learning to share your money.
You go your whole life worrying about yourself and now its not just you anymore.
The three most common ways I have seen married couples deal with money are
1. What's Mine is yours
(you share everything)
2. My Money and Your Money
(you share nothing)
3. Mine, Yours and Ours
(Share only some and keep some for yourself)
Andrew and I fall under category number one.
I am going to tell you why but I want to preface it by saying that I don't think if you don't do it our way you are wrong. I am just saying this is what falls in lines with what our values and the ideals we want to set for our family
Andrew's family does the my money, your money (#2) and my parents do a what's mine is yours approach (#1) so when we got married we had to figure out what we wanted.
When we said I do I promised God that I would become one with my husband. We live our lives daily to glorify God and make him happy so in return all our blessings come from him. They are given to us to bless our family so we count our money as one. I don't believe one of us should get more because one person currently makes more than the other. There will be multiple times in our lives where we switch roles of who makes more.
We set our budget on what we want to save each month and that automatically goes into savings. Then we take out living expenses and then budget food and gas. Then whatever is leftover is our free money for the month.
Because Andrew is a grad student and I am a teacher we live on a budget. We take our free money and while we do spend a little on ourselves ( and when I mean little I mean coffee with friends or a quick breakfast on the way to work) we spend the majority on things we can do together.
Yes this means I have had to cut back my shopping to only when I really need things or I have to clean out my closet in order to splurge on some new outfits but in the long run I am going to remember the things we did together with our money and not the hot new fashion piece this season. Now don't get me wrong I am not the only one who cuts back. Andrew doesn't buy quite as many video games and gadgets as he used to either. We are grateful for what we have and while sometimes I swoon over new things, I have become more appreciative of what I have been blessed with and not feeling like I always want more.
In the end this is what works for us. We make decisions on our money together. If there is something one of us really wants that is pricey we talk about it and make the decision together. Then we save a little for a few months and we make it work. It helps us not only save and get things we really want but also helps so much with our communication as a couple.
So what about you? How do you deal with money?