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Money Pains: Budgeting With the One You Love

Submitted by Danielle Cort on June 7, 2010 – 5:39 pmComments

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You would think that after eight years of dating the same guy, I’d be accustomed to sharing things…my toothbrush, shower loofah, favorite coffee mug. But when my man and I decided to move in together, the “things” got larger…the walk-in, our finances…

And so goes the budget, a haunt for all couples just starting out in the “real world.” Who will buy the groceries, the Windex, the cat food? How will you divide the rent, utilities, and car payment?  “Honey, can we go on vacation?! Please, please please?!!”


The list goes on an on. And no matter how much money you make (even when making money together), there’s always stuff to be bought, places to go, and splurges to spend on. But how do you budget your needs and wants in a way that doesn’t burn the wallet and aligns with the most important factor on that Excel spread…your significant other?

Combining a budget with your loved one is an agonizing, fearful feat, but it’s necessary in order to be (and remain) realistic with your money. Full disclosure: I cried the first time I discussed the divvying up of financial responsibilities with my guy. Not because I couldn’t afford to put gas in the car or because my salary is just 1/2 of what his is, but because the topic at hand is so painfully overwhelming. My mind is so over-consumed with what furniture to buy and when, how much money to add to savings, and whether the organic produce at WholeFoods is really worth the additional dough (I argue that it is ;) ).

Over the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to live happily and healthily under the same roof with a man who would rather use napkins than paper towels at dinner, a man that would, for a week, use the same bath towel unless I forced it into the washing machine.

These give-and-takes are what make our relationship stronger. We compromise on the big things and often let go of the small ones.

There’s a long road ahead of us – decisions that neither of us can even yet imagine. But, we’ve made the choice to work together, pool our resources, and do the best we can, day by day.  And we’ve realized that if you’re smart about your money, you’ll always come up with a little extra in the end.

My guy wants to buy a vintage convertible. I want a new gym membership. See? Compromising already…

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

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  • Happy!

    You make living together sounds like getting divorced. The only time dividing the finances gets in the way is when we allow our selfish desires to take over our rational thoughts. If you are living together, I presume you are in love and share many common life goals. If you are really stressing out over the extra 35 cents to upgrade your green peppers to "organic," then I fear you are someone who will struggle with much more important financial decisions.

    And how could you compare a vintage convertible with a gym membership? This example falls flat as a satisfying conclusion to your otherwise non-humorous description of the "married" life (or what comes before it). When you allow money to in your relationship to get to an "agonizing" point, should it really come down to 60 cent carrots and $15/month gym memberships? Allowing money to get in the way of love is one of the reasons 52% of marriages end in divorce. I encourage you to ease your frets, live your life with a smile, and do your best. The money will take care of itself.

    I think the big picture

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