Things that save my Marriage: Part II

This one is a big one. (Part I is here).

We agree on finances. And we both (puffy) heart Quicken.

Over the life of our marriage we have switched off who balances the checkbook and who pays the bills. When we were in undergrad together we had no money, balancing the checkbook consisted of looking at each other at the end of the month, taking a deep breath and cringing when we saw how far we went into the hole each month. (We like to laugh about those days.)

When he was in Law School and I was the one working full time-- He paid the bills and did the balancing act. And instead of watching our overdraft each month, we calculated how much student loan interest the large pepperoni w/extra cheese we just devoured would cost over the next 10 years.

During the two years of his clerkship and just after I threw in the working mommy towel, I took over the finances (while yet again) we watched as the exact amount we could not afford to pay off each month (this time on a credit card). Equaled our grocery bill. (An LDS aside: that same amount we didn’t pay off-- exactly equaled tithing? Ironic?)

For the last 8 or so years, we have come to a lovely understanding. I input my receipts into quicken, and he inserts his. I balance the credit cards and stress about paying them off meticulously each month. And he balances the checking account and does that ballet tight rope walk we call: paying off the student loans AS FAST AS WE STINKIN’ CAN!

Don’t get me wrong. We have massive stress over finances. Mainly he’s calm and optimistic, and I’m uptight and worried about earthquakes. But magically those exact two qualities are the perfect blend…for us.

And PS. We are 3 months from the last student loan payment (one month shy of 10 years). There will so be a big party. And you are so invited. So done with the word so.


Melissa Ann Browning said...

Oh - I'm jealous. I hope this doesn't mean that we're doomed, because my hubby & I are in two different worlds when it comes to finances. I'm conservative with money (grew up without any) and he's NOT conservative with money (he grew up with plenty). I do all our finances, because I'm scared to death to let him! And he would never balance anything, and it would be a disaster! But he's always under the delusion that we have plenty of money, and when I correct him, he pouts or doesn't understand why that's the case.... Argh. Can you tell there have been recent fights about this? Having the baby, and me still being in grad school (so I'm sucking money away, on top of not bringing any in...) has just made things worse. Anyways...

Just out of curiosity, how much is tithing? Aren't there "deferments" for those without the resources?

Would love to celebrate the end of student loans with you! Congrats congrats - the end is in sight :)

xo, Melissa

Claremont First Ward said...

I did the finances for the first 7 years of marriage but when I went inpatient Jeff had to take over. It was actually a really good thing because he felt like he couldn't send a dime without my consent when I was in charge. Now I don't have the hassle, he doesn't feel that way anymore and on that front, we are much more unified than we were before. This is a great one because it's such a huge part of everyone's marriage!

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

My husband and I are not alike either. We both like to buy weird stuff, but I make sure I also save. He doesn't. It really sucks that I'm not working now. Its been kind of stressful for me because I like to make money, but my time will come. WHen the kids are a little older I'll either go back to work outside the house or I'll start my own business. Doing what? I don't know. But something!!

Oh my heck! I was featured. And it didn't hurt or anything!