The Super Scary & Extremely Exciting Combined Income Financial Plan

TOO MUCH MONEYI’ve never had a REAL financial plan before. Sure, I’ve set up budgets and had some pretty lofty goals, but I never ended up following them for more than a week or so. As such, I have never had any kind of savings in my account and have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for pretty much my entire adult life.

Sunshine said something to me the other day that resonated with me. I had to sit there and really think about it.

“I thought our financial situation was going to improve when you moved here. It hasn’t.”

moneyShe was totally right, of course, because we are both living paycheck-to-paycheck. One or two unanticipated expenses have popped up and things have been looking rather grim as we head into the holiday season.

But then I looked at what we make and thought there had to be something wrong. I mean, we’re not raking in the big bucks or anything, but we’re not doing too shabby. Where was our money going?

So we had a discussion; a REAL discussion about finances. No secrets, all money out on the table. What we make and what we owe. To some this may be just a normal marriage situation. For me, especially, it’s a massive leap of faith. I have never shared my financial information with anybody prior to Sunshine. Mind you, that was probably because I was embarrassed about the state of my bank account…but still, this was a pretty big moment for me.

money_issuesSo we have come up with some ideas and solutions and ways to get us back on track. Changing bank accounts here, consolidating finances there…keeping track of ALL money because it’s going to be completely shared. Again, this is something I’ve never done before…but where what I’ve done before has never worked, I’m jumping into the deep end of the pool and trusting that the two of us can not only stay afloat together, but swim strongly.

We’re going to start small and think big. We’ve watched programs on television and have seen ideas online on how to pay down debt and manage finances. The plan is to take care of the smallest debts first so that those payments can then be added to the larger amounts owing.

If all goes according to plan, we should be able to begin actually saving money in January. Of course, we’ll have to see how things go over the next two months…there could be unexpected expenses or we might just be unable to stick to the budget. But with the prospect of having our finances in order and money in our savings account, I think we’ll find a way to make this work.

We’re adults. It’s about time we started acting like it.

At least, y’know, when to comes to finances. Heh.Our money

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5 thoughts on “The Super Scary & Extremely Exciting Combined Income Financial Plan

  1. Hope you don’t mind some unsolicited advice.

    Your plan of paying off small debts first is an interesting one. I like it, but with one caveat. I’d recommend you look at the interest rates as well. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you pay off the debt with the highest rate first. This is missed by a lot of people and can be a major factor.

    As well, see if you can move the debt to the lowest interest rate. You may be able to consolidate the debt to get a lower rate, or use a lower interest rate product to pay of the higher interest one (like paying off a credit card debt with a line of credit).

    Your bank would also recommend paying off “bad” debt first and keep the “good” debt for the end. They consider good debt things like student loans/investment loans (things that improve future earnings and are tax deductible) or mortgages (on something that appreciates in value). They consider bad debt things like credit cards.

  2. Good for you guys! It sounds like you’re taking control of the situation.

    I remember the ‘day of reckoning’ I had with myself at some point about getting my finances in tip top shape. It’s pretty liberating.

  3. It took us a long time to get on the same page and just this past month we combined everything. So you can do it, just remember don’t let the setbacks (that will happen) get you off track. You can do it!!

  4. YNAB. You Need A Budget. Best budgeting software I have ever tried.

    I do not work for them but I have never had a hold on my finances before I started using it so I like to tell people about it.

    You can try it free for 35 days and then if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. There are apps for your smart devices and free live courses you can take or watch recorded ones.

    I hate that I sound like an infomercial but it’s free to try which is what I did so there is no harm. If you use it, because it is a living budget, it works.

    Good luck!
    Vivi

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