The Daily Grind: How to Agree on Daily Finances

I used to love my daily latte.  I was working twelve hour days, and I felt like I deserved a quick coffee pick-me-up.  In fact, at that time, I should have had a caffeine IV – it would have been cheaper.  Instead, I spent five dollars every day on a yummy, sugar-laden, espresso-bean delight of hot, steamy, oh-so-good joe.  Ok, so I miss my lattes, but I now feel better about occasionally treating myself to my nemesis.  I save money, and I compromise with my husband on our daily finances.

Remember when we talked about how to position yourself as a financial equal with your partner? One of the best ways to do that is to get the topic of daily finances out in the open, which is exactly what my husband and I had to do. You see, when I quit my twelve-hour-per-day job to pursue my dreams, my husband Mike and I lost some very valuable income.  I may bring in some dough – but nowhere close to what I used to.  So, how did Mike and I compromise on our daily finances to make my dream possible?  Let’s take a look at my path and find some pointers that can help your daily finance grind.

Grind the Daily Finances

The first thing Mike and I had to do was sit down and look at our overall financial situation and our daily finances.  Our overall finances were OK.  We cut back on a few things, but the real bean-splitting came in our daily finances.  Obviously, my daily coffee had to go.  That was easy, though, because I no longer worked steps from the jittery goodness of a coffee shop.  But unfortunately, my husband’s daily lunches and our weekly dinners out also had to be ground out.    

Splitting the Hidden Beans

Thankfully, Mike was fine with grabbing lunch in his workplace free cafeteria (lucky, right?).  Our other daily spending became more difficult to conquer.  We had to postpone or entirely cut out the occasional $15 sack of groceries or $20 car wash.  (For us, these occasional $20 purchases were weekly occurrences, so I place them in my daily finances).  In fact, there were a lot of hidden beans that we had to split.  A $10 computer part, a $20 magazine subscription, and a $10 dog toy had to be weighed carefully for necessity.

Agreeing on Lattes for Both

I feel very lucky that my husband was so willing to cut back on the daily finances for me to work my dream job.  But there were some struggles and stress over the course of our new daily spending.  I like to buy an occasional treat, and so does Mike.  I believe every person should be allowed to spend some money on themselves. 

However, to counteract the problems overspending on our personal treats could cause, we agreed on a monthly spending limit for our daily treats (another tip from our financial equal post).  We each can spend $50 per month on our daily treats, no questions asked.  So, if I want ten lattes per month, I am entitled.  If Mike wants seven lunches per month, he can go for it.  But if I want a new purse, I have to give up all my lattes that month.  If Mike wants a video game, he is eating cafeteria food daily.        

Agreeing on joint finances can be tricky, but it IS possible.  If you take a look at your daily finances, compromise on necessary items, and cut each other some slack on a few treats, you can find a balance in your daily finances.  That daily grind can be minimized to brew a great cup of potential savings.       

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Anonymous's picture

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com wrote:

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 15:01 Comment #: 1

Our budgeting is a bit different.

We do a joint budget for food, utilities and rent. Everything else that's our own personal expenses, we have a separate budget.

Anonymous's picture

retirebyforty wrote:

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 22:37 Comment #: 2

I like the plan. We each get $100 allowance, but that include groceries, food, entertainment, electronics, clothes, and more. Budgeting is hard work....

Anonymous's picture

Money Reasons wrote:

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 04:00 Comment #: 3

Sounds like a great idea! I limit myself to $200 a month, but my wife doesn't have any such limits. Luckily, she is mostly more frugal than I am so it works out well (I hope, hmm now you have me wondering!)

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 18:45 Comment #: 4

FB, glad you found a plan that works for you! My hubby and I had completely separate finances until last year, which my friends found weird, but it worked for us at the time. Now joint finances are a must, but I like it more than I thought I would.

Retirebyforty, great job on the budgeting! I agree it's hard work -- well worth it in the end, though, huh?

Money Reasons, isn't it great to find a way to work together on money? Although, as you say, checking on the "frugal" wife may not be a bad idea...jk!

Anonymous's picture

Aloysa wrote:

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 02:58 Comment #: 5

We don't have an allowance. We just spend on whatever we need but try to be responsible with it.

I love my lattes. But I am trying not to go overboard with them. I used to get a latte every day. Now it is down to 2 times a week. I need my caffeine and I need it tasty. :-)

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 19:42 Comment #: 6

Lattes are the greatest...mmm...
Glad you found a system that works for you, Aloysa!

Anonymous's picture

Aloysa’s Reading Picks: Secrets Revealed » Aloysa wrote:

Mon, 12/20/2010 - 13:08 Comment #: 7

[...]  Are you in a disagreement when it comes to discussing finances with your significant other? Read The Daily Grind: How To Agree On Daily Finances@MomVesting. [...]

Anonymous's picture

Canadian Finance Carnival #19 – Canadian Finance B wrote:

Sun, 01/16/2011 - 09:56 Comment #: 8

[...] at MomVesting presents The Daily Grind: How to Agree on Daily Finances, saying “Agreeing on joint finances can be tricky, but it IS possible. That daily grind can [...]

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