Monday, February 12, 2007

Chafing under all the authority...

My husband wants us to write a budget and stick to it. I want to do that just about as much as I want to get some holes drilled in my head so that he can screw in some antennae and pick up his Sirius satellite radio through my teeth. And wouldn't I be a useful wife then?

Here's the thing...I am one of those people who is bad with money, but I masquerade as someone who has my stuff together. I don't spend money on large purchases like designer jeans or electronic equipment. I do, however, visit Target often, and I rarely leave there without spending $100. You all know how that is...

During my first years of work out of college, I really should have been budgeting because then I would not be in this abyss of credit card debt that I am in right now. And when I was in nursing school? I REALLY should have been budgeting because I was making about $600 per month. That was NOT enough to pay the bills. Instead, I kept my head barely above water with keeping up my payments, and I used things like savings' bonds and wedding money to supplement my income. And when I wanted to go to Target for some "essentials?" I used my credit card.

Now, I have graduated from nursing school and am employed as a nurse. FULL TIME! My hourly rate has more than doubled from when I was an aide, and I also am working about twice as many hours per week. That is a considerable jump in my income. It is NICE... However, now is the time to take my place among the bill-payers in this household. Bill is being more than generous and is continuing to pay for everything until April 1. And then, a budget will be part of the plan.

We have come up with a nice plan, where he will keep handling the housing-related expenses (mortgage, insurance, etc.), while I will handle utilities (electric, cable, and Vonage). I will pay our cell phone bill, and he will pay the boys' cell phone bill. We will pay for our own cars. We will pay for our own car insurance. We will pay our own credit card payments. And I think this is all well and good. I want to do my part, and I can do my part.

My issue is when it comes to discretionary income. When I have leftover money in a month, I want to have some fun with it. I want to go to Target and but all that crap that I don't need. I want to be able to buy new shoes when I want, if I have the money. I want to go get my highlights retouched before my roots are two inches long. And I don't want that to be in a spreadsheet.

My brain knows that a budget is the way to go. And when I read some of the other budgetting bloggers that are out there, I figure I should just grow up already and realize that this is something that we need to do. After all, do I want to be paying off these credit card bills well into my forties? Certainly I guess come April 1, I will let Bill but this budget into action and see how it goes. Before then? I see some new black boots in my future. And maybe some new make-up. And it won't be from Target. After all, a little gift to myself can't be all bad...


The Princess said...

Well, give the budget a try and if need be, make sure you voice your want for some changes in it.

I think to keep your sanity, it's only fair to allocate a certain amount each month for play money.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I'm always the one pushing for a budget, and hubby (the accountant) is totally anti.

What we basically do is he manages paying the bills, and each month he tells me how much I owe him to cover my exact 1/2 of the mortgage, insurance (home, car, & medical) utilities. He pays for groceries, we pay our own cars, own credit cards, and I pay cell phone for both of us (b/c I insisted that he have one).

I make more than he does right now, but he's not such a great he pays for groceries and stuff like that, and I put $ into our savings account...whatever we have left is our own personal play money.

Sometimes I put extra in savings, often I pay cash for home improvement stuff (paint, curtains, etc)..and we really feel like as long as we're paying our bills first, and have some sort of savings going, the rest of the money is discresionary.

We do have a baby coming, so we're going to re-evaluate our spending, but we have planned, sit down talks about money when we need to.

Good luck! Money is always the hardest thing to work out, especially when you have totally different ways of managing it.

Becky said...

I know it is hard and looks terribly overwhelming, but a budget really helps you find the extra money so that you can do fun things like highlights and even a weekend getaway.
My husband and I have joint accounts, but we sit down for 1/2 hr a week and quickly make decisions, pay bills, and just talk about our finances. With 2 kids and busy lives, it would be very easy for us to get in over our head and this time just makes sure we are on the same path in our family decisions.

The Yales said...

Men. They will just NEVER understand the need for shoes or the need to leave at least $50 open in case shoes sneak up on you!