With just under 3 weeks until the move we have had several lengthy discussions about our new living budget. This is the first time that D and I have lived together, and even though we have often shared expenses such as food and petrol in the past, it hasn’t been pre-decided or agreed; it’s just been a case of one offering to fill up one of the cars with petrol for a weekend away or similar. This will be the first time that we have started living as ‘partners’, not just sharing our home together but also sharing our finances too (Jeez I feel grown up saying that!).
It’s a well known fact that money is one of the biggest causes of arguments in relationships, with this in mind, and also witnessing other couples and family members facing such issues, our money matters is something we are taking very seriously and being extra careful about.
The one thing that is set is our overall savings target that we hope to hit within 12 months and we will begin the save on Janurary 1st 2014. We have decided to start in the new year because we need money we have now to pay for the move. We have worked out that the agency fees, the bond furniture and other things here and there will consume the equivalent of 2 months of saving.
But how do we organise our fixed expenses and our personal money? The more we have chatted about it we have come to realise what a big decision the budget will be. So, we have agreed that household expenses, such as rent, council tax, ‘leccy, internet and food will be shared. But then what happens if I buy hair dye (yes, this is a necessity!) or sanity products? And what if D fancies a few beers one evening? Then who pays for the petrol to get to the shop? It started to get really complicated. Then on to of all that how do we make it fair for the both of us in terms of our income? D earns quite a bit more than me and I couldn’t physically pay half of all the bills, petrol, car upkeep and save. To keep it fair, D suggested that we split the expenses by percentage dependant upon our incomes after tax, and do the same for the savings account. This makes great sense, keeps it fair and ensures I can still save.
However we soon figured that the odd box of hair dye and a few beers here at there will pretty much balance out and it wasn’t worth getting hung up over. Our new home is near as damn it bang in the middle between both of our workplaces and most other car trips were taken together so it also made sense to pool petrol money. But then that opened up another can of worms; what about the upkeep of the car? If we sharing petrol and taking it in turns to travel in each other’s cars for shopping tips and social trips then surely it would make sense to pool all car costs? All the choices and decisions caused our lil’ brains to frazzle.
What we are both certain of is that we want to have our own spending money that only ourselves are in control of. Keeping some independence is very important for the both of us and I don’t want to have ring D to ask if I can but some new knickers when in Topshop- that would just be ridiculous. It would, however, makes sense to have a joint social budget for meals out (must cut down on theses!), buying presents, visiting friends etc.
So, to begin with, to keep it as simple as possible and to make sure we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, we will stick to sharing the household bills, food, and petrol and have a joint social fund. Then in a couple of months we can decide whether we feel it would be beneficial to share other costs such as the upkeep of both cars.
So here it is. The budget we aim to stick to it for the first two months (November and December). After Christmas (when feeling extra poor) we will re-evaluate it ready for the 12 month saving spree! Eeeeeek!
For arguments sake the overall monthly budget will be:
(NB Pink text makes that amount of money look a little more..er..friendly?)
The budget explained
- The budget is based on a calendar month which means we need to allow/skimp a bit here and there depending on how many days fall in the month.
- Rent is fixed for the term of our 6 months contract (hopefully it won’t go up after).
- Council tax is spread over 10 months but we have divided the yearly cost into 12 to keep it simple.
- Internet isn’t installed so the amount is based on prices we have looked up.
- Food, I feel, is a bit low but a few friends have assured me £200 is doable.
- Household items include cleaning products, shampoo, deodorant etc.
- Electric is on a meter so we have put down a high cost just to be on the safe size. With the house being so small it should hopefully be a lot less.
- Petrol amount is based on £200 for commuting and £60 for social.
- Social fund may look rather high but we would rather reduce this in January than have to add on to it (keepin’ it positive!).
P.s I would love to hear how you budget for your
household and as a couple or family.