How many of you fight about money with your spouse? Do you get frustrated when your wife goes out and buys new shoes even when you are on a tight budget? Do you get mad at your husband when he goes out and spends a ton of money on fishing gear when you have been saving to go on that vacation? I have a plan that will keep you from ever fighting about money again. This is a plan my wife and I use and not once have we had a fight about money.
The first thing you guys need to do is sit down and make a budget. A budget will help you to understand where you are spending all of your money. When you make this budget you need to include everything your family spends money on; like groceries, credit card debt, student loans, house payments or rent, gas, utilities, car bills, etc. You need to review this budget every month and make changes as needed. Just a note: you will not get it right for the first 1 or 2 months but keep at it. Also, you both need to agree on it.
Next, you need 3 checking accounts; a joint account (where all of the bills are paid from) and a personal account for each of you. Create a section in your budget for each of you to have fun money. Now sit down and decide how much you wish to make available for fun money in your budget. Divide this amount in half; this is what each of receives at the beginning of every month. Make sure the amount you decide on fits in with your budget only after all other bills have been paid and it is inline with your family’s financial goals. Then, from these personal accounts you are able to buy whatever you want. If you want to make a big purchase you have to save up in your own account. When you run out of money, in the fun money account, that is it until next month. So, when your wife spends money on an expensive purse you do not care; and when your husband buys a Playstation 3 you will be ok with it. By the way this plan includes getting out of debt (all of it, see my previous post: Working Freedom) so you should not borrow from anyone, not even from your joint account to fund your fun purchases.