Help me and my husband and I get our finances under control.
December 9, 2012 2:34 PM Subscribe
Help me and my husband and I get our finances under control. We are tired of living paycheque to paycheque and sometimes going over budget with impulse buys and restaurant food. We need to choose a method that works for couples whose income is not always steady, and maybe some software beyond Excel. More snowflake details inside.
posted by fullerenedream to Work & Money (16 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I don't make a lot of money to start with - he's a chef and right now I'm temping, which also means my income varies from month to month. Sometimes his does too - job security is hard to find in the restaurant scene. And we live in Vancouver, BC, so rent takes a big chunk of our income.
We each have our own bank account, and we have a joint chequing account that is basically just for paying rent. We use Excel for budgeting - it's just one spreadsheet with a list of our income, expenses and a bottom line of how much extra we'll have or how screwed we are, depending on the month.
We were thinking of splitting this up into more accounts - each of us keeps our private account, where we'd have a monthly allowance, and one joint account for groceries and bills besides rent, and the rent account so once the rent money is in there we know it's there til the cheque comes out, and also we'd make a savings account to start accumulating an emergency fund. But I'm concerned that bank fees would make this idea not so great.
What do you think? How can we split up our income so we each have an allowance, and the rest goes to necessities, paying down debt, and emergency savings?
Oh, also we each have personal projects that mean a lot to us - he is a DJ and electronic music producer and I'm in the embryonic stages of starting a handmade costume/festival clothing business. We want to spend money on our projects, within reason. Should this just be part of our allowances, or should we budget specifically for our projects?
It would be great if there were something that we could check on our Android phones. "Can I buy this right now?" "Can we afford to go for brunch?" etc.
Thanks in advance for your help. You could make a huge difference in our lives!