I’ve heard many opinions on this topic and I’ve also heard arguments against why my #1 recommended financial tip doesn’t matter as long as a couple is “responsible.”
Well, for all those who aren’t as responsible with money as you’d like to one day become, here’s something my husband and I began doing in the early years of our marriage when we paid off our debt and we continue to this day.
It has easily become our top financial tip for couples who ask our advice on this topic (well, this and doing your best to spend less than you make ).
My husband and I both have a monthly allowance. Yes, I realize this is something most teenagers have when they’re young and grow out of after graduation.
However, for those who find themselves short on cash month-after-month (maybe even year-after-year), I highly recommend giving this a try.
Here’s how it works in our household:
First, we place all of our income into a joint household account. Household necessities, tithes, charitable contributions, etcetera, all come from this main account.
Secondly, on the first of each month, we write two separate allowance checks; one for Keith and one for me. Years ago, we both determined the amount of funds we’d need monthly for all of our necessities and a bit of “play” money. Of course, when we were working to pull ourselves out of debt, our allowances included very little discretionary funds.
Thirdly, we each take our checks and deposit them into our separate “allowance” bank accounts. These checking accounts have debit cards attached so our individual spending each month comes solely from these accounts.
(NOTE: We determined allowance amounts based on who usually pays for what. For instance, I do the grocery shopping, so that amount is included in my allowance. Keith pays for all date nights, so that amount is included in his allowance.)
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, whatever amount you agree to, stick to it. This ensures a cap on your spending and will help you predetermine the amount of money that will be spent each month.
There were times when we first began sticking to this that I’d spend all but the last dime of my allowance several days early and canned chicken became our dinner (not kidding). Do that enough times and you’ll learn how to better control your spending throughout the month. I certainly did.
For decades, money woes have destroyed marriages. In mine, it made us stronger. We looked at debt as a financial challenger (rather than a challenge) and joined forces to defeat it rather than allowing such a vincible foe to weaken our relationship. If finances have ever been a challenge in your marriage, team up and fight against it. What force can defeat your united front? Not a one.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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