Managing Money as a Couple
I've met many couples who have money troubles, and they struggle to get things paid every month. They max out their credit cards, buy what they can't afford, and can't seem to stick to a budget, no matter how lenient or strict. I've also met many people who insist that when you're married, you should never, EVER have a joint account and instead keep your own bank accounts separate. It annoys me.
We don't have a budget, though we do keep track of our bank account online. We have a joint account which is our only account, and only recently have we gotten a credit card but we haven't needed it; we just use it to build credit. We've never had troubles with it. Granted, when I was not married, and Trevor didn't have a job, and we were just teenagers, I was definitely not the best money minder. I bought what we wanted when we wanted it, and made sure I had enough left over to pay my mom rent at the end of each month. I always had an empty balance after rent. Fast food, games, books....
Now? I find myself to be in charge or keeping track of our account, and I'm doing a good job. Trevor's is the only income right now, but we're doing just fine, no struggles, no budget. We usually spend the same range on groceries every time, I pay our rent early/on time every month. I'm in charge of the mail, the electric bill, the internet bill, and the rent. If the car needs repair, I get that done. If something is broken, I get it fixed or replaced. Basically, he makes the money and I manage it. It works for us. I know that wouldn't fly for some couples due to trust issues or personality clashes or bad spending habits or maybe just not making enough. My own parents have their own accounts, and my step-dad is responsible for the bills while my mom pays for groceries or other house-hold things. Most families I know handle it that way.
I was thinking about this because it started like this for us because my husband has an absolutely irrational hatred of paper and cardboard, so he'd always let his mail stack up til he had piles of it that he refused to touch, so I handled the mail. I transferred our bills to online payments to lessen the paper load, and then eventually it went from me handling the mail to me also doing anything bill-wise. I do the grocery shopping and everything. It works for us.