For years Nick and I have been struggling with managing our finances. We didn’t think it was that bad until it got to a point where we both had enough. I started Pinterst-ing a few ideas on what to do and came across this awesome post:
It’s a must-read, but basically it talks about how most people have two bank accounts, one for savings and one for checking (that was us). In this post, it recommends having 7 bank accounts (YES 7!) to help you organize where your money is going. Nick and I sat down and discussed this and decided to start first with opening a new bank account at a different bank that was going to be our “every day expense” account. So at one bank we have our savings and a checking, but our checking we wouldn’t use other than for auto bills and all expected expenses spent every month (mortgage payment, utilities, phone bill, etc.) Most of our paychecks go into this account as well. For the new account, we figured out how much we spend a month on food and extras for ourselves and direct deposit from each paycheck into this account. We set a goal for ourselves that this is only what we get for each month and when its gone, its gone and we cannot dabble from the other account.
So far we only have 3 accounts (technically 4 accounts with the HSA account). We are currently working towards setting up the Husband’s Checking and Wife’s Checking as well as the Emergency Savings. I think its so important to keep these organized so you know exactly how much is going into each and there are no more guessing games as to where your money is going.
Please keep in mind, this is a learning process and it wont be perfect right away. Try it out at first and make adjustments as needed. We have now been doing this for 6 months straight and its constantly changing, but we are much better at recognizing where exactly we want our money to go. We talk about it and think it through. We also set up monthly money meetings to get together and talk about it, so we are always on the same page.
Along with the advice of organizing our bank accounts, Nick started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and this really jump-started our focus on money management. Along with his book “The Total Money Makeover“, Dave Ramsey has shaped our image of money and the step-by-step process to becoming debt-free. Nick and I never realized how much debt was a burden until now and we are doing everything possible to get rid of it.
I know money can be a sore subject, or something most people don’t like to talk about (just like me). But rather than ignoring the money issue, take action and learn how to manage your finances!