Family Finance: Spouse...Plus Two
Fellow blogger, T.J., recently shared his experiences of transitioning from personal finances to family finances with his new wife, and I thought, “Oh, to be young again.” (Yes, I know, I’m only in my 30’s, eye roll.)
I see me as the “self-appointed” CFO of the family. It’s a “job” that’s constantly changing.
First, there were two. Budgeting included a weekly date night at a local restaurant, going to see a new release at the movie theater, or simply buying a gallon of milk without wondering how long it will last before we’ll need to buy another one…or two.
And then, there were two more. Two of the handsomest little guys in the world (my biased opinion), but due to child labor laws, are not able to contribute to the household budget. Now, we have to handle our household finances with a more strategic approach.
As the family CFO, I currently use a spreadsheet to track our income and expenses. It helps to see everything in one place, and it makes it easier to find little money leaks that sneak in from time to time.
We still enjoy eating at a restaurant occasionally, but we’ve traded the place with the lobster for any place where kids eat free (and the way our boys eat, it’s like hitting the jackpot).
And, if we’re not going to the “dollar” movie theater, our movie viewing consists of the latest Redbox or Netflix releases. We don’t do this because we’ve done a poor job of managing our finances, but we’d rather put the overflow in other areas, like savings, sports for the boys, or our annual family vacations.
As with any family, handling finances is not always easy. Every now and then, an unexpected car or home repair, emergency doctor visit, or electronic failure can throw a wrench in our financial plans. It’s frustrating, but we tackle it and move full speed ahead toward our goals.
How do you handle your family finances? Have any tips for family fun on a budget? How do you C.U.? Tell us below.