We are primarily a one income household. I do a little work from home but my husband works full time and provides the majority of the income for our household. This presents a unique set of challenges.
Watching Every Penny
We closely watch everything that we spend. From groceries to entertainment, we are always aware of how much we are spending to make sure that we do not overspend in any one area. With just one income, every dollar has to go further. We have a strict budget in some areas like groceries to make sure that we stay on budget. In others like entertainment and eating out, we only spend money in that month if we have it.
We have to work together when it comes to our finances so that we are both on the same page. This means communication about where we are at each month. It has also meant coming together to have a joint philosophy about money. We cannot afford to disagree about how money is handled since there is not as much of it to go around now. We talk about how we think about money, our frustrations, and what we should spend money on. We talk about major purchases together and plan them out. Neither one of us can go out and spend more than a few dollars on something without telling the other one because of how tight of a budget we have to be on. Luckily, we had similar views about money before we became a one income family. This has made it easier but we still have our disagreements about how money should be spent.
I struggle with feeling like the money we have is my husband's money rather than our money. This has created a variety of issues at times from not telling him when I would like to spend money on something to letting him win arguments about money issues. And sometimes the frustrations I have on these issues spill out into other areas of our relationship. I often feel like I have to ask permission to spend any of the money on things that I want. My husband has less of a problem viewing the money as our money rather than his money. But unfortunately, this does not seem to help.
These challenges are less difficult when we have open and honest communication with each other. But it is not easy. We have to work at it every month.
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