Let’s Do A Budget

“Money may not buy love, but fighting about it will bankrupt your relationship” – Michelle SingletarIt can. What we do with money says a lot about who we are and how we relate to the person we are closest to.

First question has to be; who has the money? Who earns the most and how is it handled?

The decisions about where it goes is more frequently than not, made by the person who has the most money. This however may not always be the case and sometimes it is the more vociferous and aggressive partner that becomes the decision maker. If one is wiser about money that person may be anointed to handle the dispersion.

Any partnership will have something to do about money.

Today with so many temporary relationships, not bound by law, a variety of patterns occur. Even with marriage today and prenuptial agreements, patterns fall into place. Who pays for what?

Some people are spontaneous, even with money. Others are careful and responsible, while others are cheap or withholding. A lot of this depends on your early life experiences. It may be easy come; easy go.

Some relationships use money to get what they want; sex, gifts, and so on.

But let’s concentrate on a mature couple who work together and decide how to spend their money jointly.

What kind of budget would they have?

Well, for starters they would have to put down the necessary expenditures first.

That would include housing, transportation, food, and things like medical and other insurance. Taxes are always there. You need to decide what portion of income is to be used for necessary things like housing, cars, food etc.

I have had couples for therapy that wanted fancy cars but ate out of tuna cans to do it. Up to them!

Phones, medicine and drug store items, and items such as repairs and hair cuts would also need to be included. If there are children, clothes and maybe school would be on the list.

Then comes discretionary areas.

They would include, clothes, entertainment, hobbies, sports, and travel.

With credit cards, many young couples get into trouble wanting to have it all and not being able to afford it. That will catch up with them in the end. Living beyond your means is a bad philosophy. It is easy to do, and we are all subjected to ads for fancy cars and so on. We have friends or neighbors with more than we have and that becomes a sore point.

I am always reminded of my parents who as they got older had an issue with my father complaining about not having real soft towels. I went out and spent a small fortune to buy them fluffy wonderful ones.

When my dear mother died, I saw them in the linen closet, never used and with the price tags on. I guess she was saving them for company or a special occasion. Well, I’m here to live differently. I use the nice towels!!

Yes, having things we like, and need is important, but just accumulating and not being able to afford some things is a problem. Very few people have ALL the money they want whenever they want it.

The old adage; saving for a rainy day, may still hold water. No pun intended!

There are always unexpected things happening that cost money. Heaven help you if you don’t have it. Being dependent on others; parents, friends, or banks, makes life stressful and makes you feel badly.

With recent horrible events; hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and so on, watch what people take with them if they have a few minutes. Usually it’s things like pictures and sentimental items.

So, don’t be afraid to fight it out with a partner because money and how you use it and budget it is crucial. All you have to do is look at the divorce courts and see how much anger, and despair is tied up with the money situation.

Being able to stand on your own two feet and support yourself should be mandatory.

It is always a good idea to have some portion of money in your own name and then decide what should be jointly held and used.

If you married for money believe me, you will get what you deserve…. and it won’t be a happy life!!

“They say love is more important than money, have you ever tried paying your bills with a hug?” –  Nishan Panwar

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