family · Marriage · modern life · money · thirties

The Great Budget Experiment

One of my goals for 2017 has been to be able to effectively budget my money and get a better idea of how our household is really running.  This has been difficult to do since, until a couple days ago, I only had cooperation of half of our household (ME).  

It was super frustrating not having RB on board, and this has been an ongoing point of contention for the last 2 years.  It began when I, a pregnant newlywed, discovered that my groom had thousands of dollars in undisclosed debt.  It’s something we’ve really struggled with and hasn’t gotten any better.  

But hey, new year!  We’re planning on having our kitchen and dining rooms remodeled as well as adding a half bath downstairs, which would make potty training (coming in the foreseeable future) a million times easier.  Because of this (and my keen ability to get super shitty about all sorts of unpleasantries at midnight when he’s trying to fall asleep in an unpredictable, domesticated “airing of the grievances”) we actually had the talk.  He agreed to try to set a limit for his “miscellaneous expenses” during the week, throw more money onto his credit cards with the highest interest, and contribute more directly to our house account.  My contribution will also include more money to cover bills (I just paid my student loans off after over 15 years, woohoo!) and trying to maintain and navigate this “budget” thing, which has been difficult in part because RB doesn’t have online banking, and until last night didn’t pay much attention to how much he spent.  So if he pays for pizza, gas, or groceries I have no way to track it.  

I can see you shaking your head, and I get it. 

 You’re asking, “Who the hell makes it to their 30s without having to budget their money?”  Or perhaps starting your sentence with, “What kind of privedeged asshole…” I see where you’re coming from, and I am embarrassed about it.  Honestly, the key word there was priveledge.  We’re both from middle class families who were poor back in the day, but we don’t remember much, if anything, about those days since we were little and our parents shielded us from it.  We’ve both had living wage jobs for the better part of a decade (longer for him, since he’s older) and we’re used to swiping our debit cards and not having to worry about it being declined at this point.  It’s a shitty excuse but it’s the truth.  

So now, in my mid 30s and with a toddler, I’m trying to learn shit that I really should have figured out sooner.  We’ve also found ourselves shorted by about $3,000 on our tax return this year, which is where a good chunk of our home renovations were supposed to come from.  Surprise, bitch!  We’ve got about a month and a half to come up with some serious cash so we can move forward with our home improvement plans…..  If you don’t hate me yet for this post, wish us luck!  

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