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We May Be Living Together, But We’re Not Sinning Financially

30 Oct

One of my readers, Blair, asked:

I have a question – Do you and Lloyd have a joint budget, or do you keep them separate? How do you split bills… is it even, or is it based on salary?

Thanks for your question, Blair!  I meant to write a post about this awhile back, but never got around to it…

As geeky as it is, Lloyd is even more obsessed with his finances then I am (we’re a match made in PF heaven!).  Before we moved in together, we had several talks on how we would split the costs.

All Things Equal

In my humble opinion, I think each man and woman should pay the same amount for the same things and should not be penalized for making more money.  Lloyd feels the same way.  We actually do make about the same right now, so that makes things even easier.

We split everything – rent, utilties, cable, water – right down the middle.  I think this is the right way to do things, but I know that some people split rent differently based on income, size of bedroom, etc.  Splitting expenses down the middle works the best for us.

Bonus:  I get some pretty nice credit card rewards, so all the utilties actually flow through my credit card.  However, we take that into account when we pay rent.  My actual rent check is always smaller than Lloyd’s since I’ve already paid for the utilties.  When you add each of our total expenses up though, they come out to the same amount per month.

We Eat A Lot

The first month or so that we lived together, we attempted to grocery shop seperately.  When you’re living together as a couple, this does not work.  We quickly realized we need to start splitting the costs of dinners and other household essentials.

We go to the grocery store every Sunday and have three orders: joint order, his order, and my order.  The person that foots the cost for the joint order switches from week to week.  But, we still keep a spreadsheet of how much each weekly joint order is so one person doesn’t end up paying more than the other in the end.

Lloyd and I like to eat pretty healthy, so weekly grocery shopping is a must for us.  We prepare breakfast, lunch, and almost all our weekly dinners at home (as much as it pains me since I’m not a fan of cooking).  We have the joint grocery shopping down to a science now, but it’s still pretty annoying!  But…that’s coming from a person that dislikes grocery shopping in general. 😉

Joint Budget

At this time, Lloyd and I do not share a joint budget.  There are many reasons for this, but mainly because our finances are not combined.  We plan to combine our finances when we’re married, but I do not think we should until then.

How do you share the finances with your significant other? 

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In other news, I particpated in two carnivals this week!  Please click on over and check out these carnivals!

**Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Money Crashers

**Carnival of Money Stories hosted by PT Money

Let Your Budget Take A Personal Day

12 Aug

wake-up-happy

 Monday was one of those days where I woke up and my first thought was:

“Not gonna happen.”

Even though I finished up the night before with a killer cocktail of a fish-oil pill, a multivitamin, a good layer of night cream, some yoga poses, and a nice glass of water (the “grown-up martini“), I woke up feeling ready to knock on death’s door.

I wasn’t sick, but my body and my brain needed a break.

Ya know what I mean?  I knew I had to call in just take the day to recharge, so that’s just what I did.  Recharged.

So if we all know our body needs a little recharging every now and then, shouldn’t the same principle go for all aspects of our life – sexy budget included?

Not convincing enough?  How’s this – Lloyd and I see each other a lot.  Maybe too much.  Sometimes I think we might take each other for granted…

But, last weekend, he was out of town all weekend for a bachelor party (third this summer!) and by the time he got back, it was like first love all over again.  Our eyes met on Sunday afternoon and we were like star-crossed lovers, it was like our love could conquer anything…that is until his weekend bag exploded all over our apartment.

The same holds true for exercise – how energized do you feel after taking a day or two (or three or four) off from the gym?  If you hit it too hard too many days in a row, eventually you’ll get sluggish and you just won’t be throwing down squat thrusts quite like you used to.

So, you see, every budget needs a teensy break every now and then.  Don’t get too excited.  I don’t mean you should trade in your beater for an Audi or your brown bag for a 5-star restaurant.

Keep it relative.  If you’re in massive amounts of debt, maybe a McDonald’s 59 cent ice cream cone will suffice.  If you’re debt free and on the fast track to financial freedom, maybe a new golf club or sweater will keep you in line.

Believe me, a little wiggle room will make your budget more successful.  Some of my recent splurges?  New sparkly tennis shoes and a nice dinner out with Lloyd.  These little breaks from my saving were just what I needed to keep me right on track.

What do you do to let you budget, relationship, life, etc. take a personal day?

My Dream Destination Spots

5 Aug

Weekend Trip:

  • New Orleans
  • Seattle
  • Boston
  • Great Lakes
  • Niagra Falls
  • Denver

Vacation:

  • Miami
  • New York City
  • San Fransisco
  • Ocracoke Island
  • Mexico
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Paris
  • Canada (not sure where?)
  • Fiji
  • St. Tropez
  • The Caribbean
  • Japan
  • Hawaii

Lloyd and I normally take a week long vacation every year.  I’m sure we’ll go somewhere next year as well, but today we were talking about saving some extra dough and going on 2 additional weekend trips to places we’ve never been.  That would make 3 vacations next year!  Yay!

I’m ashamed to admit that I never really thought much of Canada until I started blogging.  There are SO many Canadian bloggers!  You all have intrigued me and now I really wanna visit!  Canadians: where should I go, eh?  (Aw, my first “eh”.)

I’m a beach girl.  I’m one of those people that hates wasting vacation on places other than beaches….but I really wanna see places like NYC and Boston, so I guess I better suck it up for those places.

Where have I been?

  • Texas (everywhere – my family is all over that state)
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles/San Diego
  • Washington, D.C. (where every American should go at least once)
  • Las Vegas
  • Raleigh/Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Orlando/Cocoa Beach, Florida
  • Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
  • Madrid/Valencia, Spain (studied abroad)
  • Ibiza, Spain (Wow)
  • random places all over Kansas & Missouri

What are your dream vacations?  Where are places that you’ve been that you thought were amazing?