Family Finances without a Fight
by Marianne Giullian
How to Manage Money as a Couple
Whole Family Financial Solutions
Finances can be a major source of contention in a marriage. There is a simple solution to this problem that can help both sides be happy.
We have set up two checking accounts with both of our names on each account. Each of us is in charge of one of the accounts. This way, we both participate in the management of the finances. Next, we divide the categories of our budget. We figure out how much we spend in each area and then plan out how much should go into each account depending on who has that stewardship.
Gas - 100
Utilities - 200
Mortgage - 1200
Newspaper - 10
Insurance - 150
Personal - 50
Food - 500
Gifts - 50
Household - 75
Misc. - 100
Music Lessons - 75
Personal - 50
When we get paid each month, we put the amount needed in each account. We get to keep any remaining money in our accounts, which provides incentive to be wise. Too many times women want all the extra income and it is important to treat your husband like you would like to be treated. If a husband likes to have control over the finances, he should remember to treat his wife like he would like to be treated and hand over part of the responsibility, so she can also have some financial freedom without having to ask him for everything or answer to him for how she spends the money. We agreed that as long as you stay in your budget each month, your partner can't complain about how the money is spent.
We have found this system to be very effective. I love knowing that I get to keep any money that is left over to spend or save as I wish and my husband has the same opportunity. If I write bills that are under his stewardship, then I use the checkbook for bills with his permission since it is his stewardship. If he goes shopping, he buys only what I ask for and does not take any liberties with my checkbook. Each of us always has access to a checkbook, so we never have to worry about unrecorded checks from someone else. We also use duplicate checks, so we can record them in the register at a later period of time if we want to. When there is extra money earned, we each get 10% of it and then we split up the rest depending on how we want to distribute it.
Since he is the breadwinner, I often end up watching the kids more if he does extra work. By giving each of us 10%, it is easier for me to support the extra hours he works since I also benefit from it. If I want to pay an extra $200 on the house, then he chooses where he would like to put $200 whether it is in savings or maybe a new lawn mower. If he wants a computer for $1500, then I also get to choose where I would like to put $1500, whether it is on clothes or savings or maybe a summer vacation. He is a wise saver and I am a wise spender, but we both work together towards a common goal of making our family as comfortable as possible no matter how much our income may be.