Oct 19, 2014

What's our budget?

Hey there folks. Welcome back to my regularly scheduled program.
I tried, super hard, to get a post out for Friday, but my complete exhaustion with a work event combined with a possible hangover and the start of a cold allowed me click the "post" button and then just blankly stare at the screen.
So, here we are. And this is what I did with my Sunday morning. Like most Sunday mornings, my routine is typically to "figure out our money."

We got hit with our first renter issue this weekend. Their refrigerator crapped out. So I spent Sunday morning researching options, buying said fridge, coordinating a delivery with the renter, and making sure it gets hooked up and installed correctly this week.
I am, upon my many other "important" home titles, the logistics girl.  Mark has been wearing himself thin in the past weeks with an overwhelming work schedule topped off with the need to winterize all the things around our home on top with the ever nagging bathroom remodel that we have successfully pushed off til after Halloween.
He is a lucky guy in that I am capable and willing to help him where I can to minimize his home chores.
So instead of him getting all worked up over how we was going to buy, move, install, and haul-away the rental fridge in the few free minutes of his weekend, I figured out that there are companies out there (this shouldn't be a shock) that will do this all for you.....for free.
Plus, I hate shopping. Especially if it's not for myself.
I rely on well written reviews to guide me through most purchases. Done and done.

So onto the real topic at hand.
How do you guys typically hand your money? Does it default to one person in the family?
For us, that person is me.
I am the organizer/coordinator/planner/money-conscience one in the family.
Not that Mark doesn't understand money, but he is just more....I suppose, flamboyant, in his wants vs. needs.
He is the guy telling me we NEED a boat (even though we still have a car payment), and that we NEED a special vault door for his guns (this one I actually agree with, but damn are they expensive.)
Whereas, I push back with the budget and timeline and day to day expenses and savings.

We don't have a joint account. We never have and never will, most likely. I just don't see the point. It keeps things organized. My account pays our current home mortgage, car insurance, IRA deposit, the credit card, and any of the "extras" for last minute items. His account pays for utilities, groceries, and any extra money goes to savings or paying of the car faster.
It took us about a year to get back on our feet with any sort of savings, after we moved into this house.
Which is split up into the piles of money in that photo.
Our current savings has been divied into paying our contractors for a portion of the bathroom renovation (which will be updated in a separate post), paying for the last minute rental fridge, Mark's gun vault, and then the extra money will go towards Holiday fun items like our annual Shrimp Boil party and Christmas gifts.

But then there is everything else.
We have four items on our list that all require piles of money that we don't currently have.
1) We would like to pay off the balance of our car payment within 8 months. Kind of a hefty price tag considering the loan is still four years off from getting completed, but you know....the hopes of getting pregnant mean lack of money and possible need for another "responsible" car for kiddoes. So we will be pushing to knock that payment out in the near future.
2) My credit card. I am typically one of those people that adds all the items to my credit card for the points, then pays it off by the end of the month. I big puffy heart a zero balance with no interest. It kind of turns me on.
But all of a sudden we needed to put the bathroom tile on the credit card and found other uses for our savings, and then the fridge thing happened, so now the goal is to pay off the balance in three months. That alone kind of makes me crazy, but just like in weight loss, we can't make it happen overnight.
3) Maternity leave. If by some awesome act of God I do get knocked up, I need to have savings for maternity leave. Our company doesn't exactly have a killer plan (read: not paid) so we need to have a game plan in order to supplement additional savings for the 2-3 months I would be off. After the little paycheck amount I actually will be receiving combined with our tax return money, we are still looking at $3-4K needed in savings. I may be over estimating, but I suppose it's always best to over-prepare.
4) Additional D day rental savings. With having renters comes the added benefit of having something major fail at the house at any moment. As we will have depleted our savings for the next year to pay off all of the above, the goal is to have a rainy-day fund of $3-4K for the "just in case." A furnace or water heater replacement is a real thing that could really happen so it's not something we can ignore.
I actually have no idea where this money is going to come from. I may be moonlighting on the corner faster than you can say "how much." Pretty woman was classy, right?

So every Sunday, I bust out my notepad, checkbook, any current bills, our online accounts, and a calculator to pay bills, pay down loans, pay off credit cards, pay, pay, pay for things. 
As weird as it sounds, I do get giddy for this time. I like seeing our debt go away and the satisfaction that we are living within our means and still having a good, fulfilled life.
As Mark is not the money guy, he is given a padded budget, or a weekly allowance, so to speak, of  money he can use at will.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am on the same budget. It's not like I hand him $50 for the week and say good luck. We are all realists here.
My goal is for both of us to not feel the strain as the majority of our money going to "other things" besides a fancy vacation, or boat, or whatever other nonsense people without debt do.
We are lucky to not have student loans on top of all of this.
We are lucky to have good renters that aren't high maintenance.
We are both lucky to have good jobs with guaranteed paychecks to ensure financial safety.
I am lucky to have Mark around as Mr. Fix-it as things are needed around the house and a guy that doesn't blow his money on nonsense.
And he is lucky to have me around to make sure we find the best deal, pay for things accordingly, and can lend a hand as needed to pick up the slack.
We are a good team.

Also, this Friday is the second Promote the Love Link-up!
Make sure you have that special blogger in mind to pimp out!
The first one was a hit and I'm hoping this one will be too!!
(Don't forget to grab the button, on my sidebar, to add your post!)

Have a great day!! I'm off to relax until a family birthday party and watch Hocus Pocus!!


  1. Sorry about the fridge. It seems like those things go at the most inopportune moments. Not that there is ever a good time for the fridge to go in your rental property... but you know what I mean. As you could probably tell from the 90 minutes or so you spent in our company, my handsome hubby handles all the money. It's not that I can't, and I don't mind it, but Steve is so OCD crazy about it.. he designed his own excel spreadsheets bc excel isn't detailed enough for him. True story.
    Budgeting/money tends to be a big issue in marriages, so I love that you both have an agreement on what works best for you both. We have a joint account, and that's what we prefer. I do have a credit card that I have had since before we met, that I use for buying gifts for him. It will take time, but you will figure it out. Over the weekend Steve and I were talking about moving to Chicago, and I told him that we woul save a ton of money over the winters cause I probably would never leave the house! Good luck with it all! <3 $ <3

  2. Look into Aflac for maternity leave! I have their Hospital Indemnity and Disability policies and I will be getting right around $4,500 for giving birth and being on maternity leave for three months. (It's not the same as my paycheck, but it's enough to sit at home for three months and not be broke!) My work doesn't offer paid leave, either, so as soon as we started trying, I got on both of these plans.

  3. I have an excel spreadsheet and go to town on it monthly (I get paid monthly), but we don't have a true shared anything. I am paying off my debt first (tons and tons of student loans) and we do have joint items we pay (the car I use, house, house items, etc) from a joint account. Essentially we are learning what works for us :)

  4. I used to be the "budget diva" in our house, and it was making me crazy!!! For the last 15 years I've managed our finances, and I finally let go and gave it to my highly capable husband. He does a great job, and can I just tell you how freed I feel!! With the fleurtybands business taking off, I can only manage one account at a time!

  5. You are being super smart staying on top of things, making a budget and paying off debt early. Good for you! Suze Orman would be proud! :)

  6. Our money has always been combined. M handles paying the mortgages and all his work expenses, I pretty much handle everything else :)

  7. I absolutely love how you guys do this and weekly. Thanks for writing about this, you gave me some good ideas.

    PS: Hope you're doing well babe.