4.10.2014

how we manage our money.

Lately I have been posting a lot about shopping -- things I want to buy or have bought. I really enjoy shopping but I like to have extra money left over to do "fun" stuff like brunch with the girls and movies dates AND save for the future (a bigger house + travel). So I thought we could talk about budgets today (it'll be painless, I promise!)
My husband and I have a shared account that we both deposit into every month and it pays for joint bills: groceries, satellite TV, internet, Netflix, utilities, medical expenses, and mortgage for our condo.

Then there are our individual bank accounts -- we have set monthly budgets for our personal spending and manage those budgets ourselves. As much as h doesn't understand or even agree with my shopping he is respectful of my budget and doesn't complain when I buy another pair of shoes. Having these pre-set budgets works for us and we rarely fight about money because we know where the money is going. Keep in mind: our budgets were not made overnight -- we had many discussions about money and how much we need to spend (bills) versus how much we want to spend (shopping an entertainment). Just find a budget that works for you (and your partner if you have a joint account).



I'll let you in on a little secret that helps me manage my budget-- I am a crazy spreadsheet-lady. I write down every. single. thing I buy. That way I really know what I am spending (aka all those random CVS visits really add up!) I have kept a record of what I bought for the last 4 years and it's sooo helpful to see where all of your money goes (a few years ago it was bar tabs...now it's barre classes!)  

Another thing that works for me -- pay off those credit cards EVERY month! I have 3 credit cards but I make absolutely sure that I pay off any charges the SAME month. I seems so silly to pay interest on anything, aside from H's crazy medical school loans but we're working on paying those off. (His budget has "student loans" in place of "savings" up above.) Speaking of savings, set up your bank account to automatically deposit money into a savings account every month - that way you wont be tempted to spend the "extra" money in your account.

I'd love to hear how you budget your money! 
Do you have any tips that help you save or monitor your spending?
xo, 
jillian 
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25 comments

  1. I fully admit that I'm horrible at this - terrible and I'm even married to a financial planner. I need to be better at this but I love seeing when couples are on the same page because financials is a big part of marriage.

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  2. We also pay off all of our cards. We don't like having any balanced on them. Great tip about automatically putting money into savings. Ahhh the days of having my own spending money! That's what I miss most about working.

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  3. I love a good budget! It is definitely hard to do, but so important. I try to keep every receipt and enter them in a spreadsheet so I can see exactly where I am spending. Visuals make it so much easier to change spending habits!

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  4. These are great tips, Jillian! I can't wait to be in a more stable financial position to start modeling my life after yours.

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    1. Thank you Tomissa! It took me a few years after college to straighten out my personal finances. I'm glad I worked that out before I had to budget with my husband tho,it made things much easier :) good luck! xo

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  5. I LOVE budgets - weird but true!! We have the same system set up joint checking, joint savings and then our own separate checking and it totally works for us!!

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  6. Girl I have a finance post in my draft folder and I really need to get it finished but I 100% agree I pay off those credit cards every single month. I don't even know what my interest rate on them are. Yeah for Barre classes ;-)

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  7. We don't have much of a budget, but I'm an addicted saver....I get a weird high from being able to transfer money to our savings at the end of every month. So watching that number grow is my motivation to not go overboard on daily splurges. And of course we'd always rather take a trip! ;)

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    1. AH! yes Cassie, I agree. I love how it feels to see your savings account grow! It's also so gratifying to save for a big ticket item... it makes me appreciate it a lot more when I finally buy it.

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  8. Way to stay on top of things! Holy cow, 4 years of spending tracking is kind of impressive ha. We need to be better at 'budgeting' but I'm happy we're at least moving in the right direction by tackling debt. If money only grew on trees...

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  9. I really need to be better about my spending/saving. I like your suggestion of a spreadsheet of everything you bought. It would probably shock me into stop spending so much on clothes and makeup and get me to save more towards taking trips. Thanks, Jillian! -Katie

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  10. I'm going to my first Barre class this month, I have no idea what it is, or what it entails, but excited to do it. My cousins and I are doing a spa day and the spa we're going to has a Barre class, so we're all going to it first and then do our treatments, work hard before we get our treats :)

    I'm crazy excel lady for our budget too. We follow the Dave Ramsey approach called Financial Peace University. We have "buckets" for everything that we keep track of. Like house repair, car repair, mortgage, car replacement, donation, clothes, medical, etc. At the beginning of the year we decided how much we want to put in each "bucket", then divide by 12 to get our monthly. I like this method because when we had a slab leak in our garage we had the money already set aside to get all new plumbing in our house and didn't have to scramble to get that $7K together in that month. Same with car repairs, those new tires, already have the money set aside to pay for them.

    We pay EVERYTHING with our debit card, so we don't necessarily keep our receipts, cause everything is documented in our bank account. Then I enter them in our spreadsheet from our bank account statement.

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  11. I'm crazy about spreadsheets too! I keep all my receipts, and all my change. I have a change bag in my car and in my room - all those quarters really add up! I don't take them to coinstar, just straight to the bank (they don't charge any fees)!

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    1. Abby - Yes! A coin jar is a great idea! We have a big one we keep in the office... it's about time to cash that sucker in :) :)

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  12. I am so with you on writing everything down. I do that too and it works like a charm:) What a great post. Thanks, love. xo

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  13. I need to be better about writing my spending down. Every little thing adds up. We just turned over all our financials to get pre-approved and giving my husband my last two months of checking and savings was terrifying. We have been married over a year but have nothing joint as of right now since we only pay rent. He just doesn't understand that Baby Gap is a need not a want :)

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  14. i need to write everything down too or out my money towards things i really want like trip!

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  15. Fantastic post! Me and my husband have never ever been in depth not even a second- lol. But I love that you share this for people who might be in trouble! Great post! XOXO, Sissi

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  16. I LOVE Mint.com! It was so helpful in identifying where I spend my money (and curbing my Starbucks habit). It was especially helpful when my husband and I merged finances too.

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  17. what a great post... more people should eb like you and be conscious about money! love the quote!

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  18. loved reading your tips! i'll take all of the ones i can get! so helpful :)

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  19. I think all style bloggers need to talk money more often. It's a very real concern and no pair of shoes is worth going in debt over! I like to put $50 per paycheck into a splurge account with Capital One 360. It has a good interest rate and that way I don't feel guilty about buying something that's above my normal budget.

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  20. Managing money can be tough! Fantastic and very helpful tips so thanks for sharing! xx
    www.fashiontruffles.com

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  21. Love these tips! We have a joint savings and checking and our own credit cards. We had some growing pains at first, but now it works! OH and my blog earning go into a Paypal account, which is my little slush fund! Shhh! ;)

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