What's your budgeting routine?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
What's your budgeting routine?
7
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 11:01am

What's your budgeting routine? How often do you get together with your spouse to go over finances, pay bills, etc? How exactly do you keep track of your expenditures?

I need help. I know how to go through my bank statements and I have a spreadsheet with spaces for things like rent, utitlies, food, but I don't know what to put in those spots because my husband's account is separate and it's HIS income that pays for 95% of our lives. It's like pulling teeth to get the two of us to actually SIT DOWN and go over finances. He's like an ostrich who wants to bury his head in the sand. If I could get us into an idiot-proof budgeting routine, then maybe I can finally get him on board with controlling our finances.

Again, I want to stress idiot-proof. I have severe ADHD and he's just plain immature, LOL.

Thanks!












iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 2:24pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 4:40pm
I agree that that's the #1 thing that needs to happen - we need to have a single bank account. Since I'm already in the habit of checking mine regularly, we agreed that he's going to switch his direct deposit to my account and I can be in charge of the finances (the man seriously hates dealing with anything that involves paperwork). Now let's see how long it takes before he actually DOES it.











Avatar for futuremrsmitchell
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 08-15-2010 - 5:40pm

What's your budgeting routine?
-I have taken a spreadsheet and wrote out each Friday's Date. DH and I have separate checking accounts but they are linked together. (We lived together before we got married and just kept both of them open because we each had loans directly withdrawn.)
Under each date I write out which bills are due that week.
Week 1: Electric, Truck Pymt, other misc bills
Week 2: Satellite, Internet, other misc bills & save for mortgage
Week 3: Car, Insurance, Propane, Water, other misc bills & save for mortgage
Week 4: Mortgage
I divide up the bills between DH & I's accounts. He will pay a bill or I will pay a bill from our accounts. Or if I need to transfer $ back and forth I will for a big bill such as mortgage.
I have a budget made up for the rest of this year and until about June of next year.

How often do you get together with your spouse to go over finances, pay bills, etc?
-DH and I don't necessarily go over finances on a regular basis. He knows my "system". If an unexpected bill arises then we will discuss how to accommodate it. Every week I will balance our checkbooks & pay bills and tell DH how much he has left to spend for the week. He knows this is for gas, restaurant trips, and amusement. I have an amount left over each week too that I must purchase groceries and household items. Obviously if each of us "runs low" in each of our accounts we transfer $ back and forth. We still view it as "our" money.

How exactly do you keep track of your expenditures?
-We have online banking and I keep a spreadsheet on the computer that is our checking account. Every few days I will check the balance and do our checkbooks.

This system works for us NOW. For the longest time we never discussed bills and sadly, I didn't even balance checkbooks on a regular basis. We have had utilities shut off and bounced checks and it was a bad deal. We finally sat down and hashed it all out and picked ourselves up by the boot straps and moved forward. The good thing about this system, every few months since we get paid weekly, we have an "Extra Paycheck". We just recently used that to renew license plates and supplement our savings. In October we are using it for new tires for our truck. We're able to do this without tapping into our actual savings, which is small, but we're trying to put back at least $5 a week.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2004
Tue, 08-17-2010 - 9:34am


DH and I only go over our finances about once a year. It's usually around the holidays, where he sits and says, "You know, I don't even know where our money goes....let's sit down and let me graph it all out". He'll take my information, which is all on paper and very clear for me to read and understand, and then he'll spend hours going through excel and other programs, making budget printouts and pie charts and bar graphs, and all of this stuff, and finally, he just says, "Looks good", and then that's it for another year. I just go off and do something else while he computes things in his own way. LOL! Beyond that, he just turns to me when he wants to buy something, and he says, "Do we have the money for this, or should we wait?", and I will tell him yes or no at that time. :-)

That being said, we did realize we don't have a big enough emergency fund built up. Our dog, who has been always healthy, suddenly got sick in early June, and 10 days after the onset, we were looking at a 50% chance of saving him by putting him in intensive care or just putting him down. We opted to try and save him. Thankfully, it worked out, and he's much better now, with medicines and treatment at home, but this came at a huge cost of several thousand dollars. Dh knows that this really blew our budget, so his attitude has been, "If we have to carry a balance on the credit card for a month or two, we'll do it. We had to try and save him." I'm really cutting back this month, making meals from what I have in the house and just buying milk and bread each week, and Dh will be out of town for a month, so I'm planning to keep the tons of lights off that he normally uses at night and use the huge stock of candles that I don't use much. I also want to stick to free entertainment...whether it's movies from the library with homemade popcorn, a trip out to the beach (free resident pass for that), or a free community concert. Just anything to give us a break while he's gone for that month, and try to get this debt paid off fast. Once that's done, I'm going to be building up our emergency fund bigger and better. LOL! :-)

I wish you luck with your budgeting. A budget can be time consuming to set up, but it's really helpful for seeing where your money goes each month and where you can afford to cut back when you really need to.

Pat :-)

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-21-2010 - 6:35pm
We have ours, his, and hers accounts - that way we can pay the joint expenses from our account, but we each have a bit of autonomy by having our own accounts.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 9:46pm
We've always done our finances together.
Been married 39 years and started out in military. Not much income in those days, so we have always lived on budget, then 3 daughters arrived and stricter budgeting.
First thing we always did was pay our savings account first. You always should pay yourself first, like it's a bill. By the time we were in our mid 40's our house was paid in full.
Only bought items if we had saved up enough to pay cash for them, you won't get in debt that way.
Life Goes On . . . One Day at a Time!
Life Goes On . . . One Day at a Time!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2008
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 9:41am
What's your budgeting routine? How often do you get together with your spouse to go over finances, pay bills, etc? How exactly do you keep track of your expenditures? I do it weekly, since I get paid weekly. When I got paid every two weeks, that when I paid bills; I would look over everything once a week, but only paid bills when I got paid.
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