When I got married, our finances were out of control. My wife spent all the money she made, and I spent all the money that I made. Neither of us knew what the other was spending our money on because we didn’t mingle our money and didn’t share our purchases.
This non-accountable, non-budgeting marriage worked, until it didn’t.
We had our first child and we needed a bigger apartment. But, we couldn’t afford one, because we hadn’t been saving ANY money. We were both literally working pay check to pay check. I was spending money on restaurants and golf and my wife was spending money on clothes.
We decided that we needed to be more transparent in our marriage about our spending.
We started by opening a shared bank account that we occasionally glanced at to see what we were each spending our money on. But, we got lazy and resorted to prior spending habits and mentalities.
We ended up in Debt
And I don’t do debt very well. It keeps me awake at night and I get stressed and anxious. I don’t like spending someone else’s money.
We tried all of the budget apps online, but none of them worked
Some were too involved, requiring us to enter our life’s history of finances. Others required us to link our bank accounts (which we found useless, as our bank was already keeping track of our spending). Some required a monthly fee.
Finally we invented a paper system
And it worked for a while. We kept receipts and tracked our spending by category. Soon, we looked into whether we could hire someone to digitize our paper tracking system. With some fine tuning and adjusting we ended up with I Spent Money. It works for us. When we spend money, we track it. We know what we are buying. Our marriage has improved and we are debt free and saving.