Monday, April 8, 2013

"Good with money"

And, a soundtrack for this post.

My neighbor house sits for me, feeding my pets and letting the dogs in and out several times a day.  She very thoughtfully places my mail right on the counter where I'll see it when I get home from vacation.  Sometimes it's a big stack.  When I get home I immediately go through and sort the big stack into two piles - trash and important stuff.  90% of the important stuff is bills.  So, being a good girl, I just went through and paid all my bills from this past paycheck, and scheduled those for the upcoming check.

Our rough distribution of financial responsibility is as follows:  He pays all the "real" bills.  Mortgage, electricity, etc.  I pay for the cellphones, my student loans, my personal expenses (hobbies, clothes, gas, lunches), and I handle the money flow for the rental house I own.

It's a pretty sweet deal, really.  Yet, even with the limited obligations I have, I still have a hard time keeping on top of it all.  I live beyond my means on a weekly basis, even when you figure that I don't even pay any living expenses!

Handling money is hard for me in many ways.  I think being "good with money" has several aspects to it.  Unfortunately, I suck at most of them.

1.  Arithmetic
2.  Prioritizing / delaying gratification
3.  Remembering things in a timely manner / organization
4.  Open communication with your financial partner
5.  Earning more than you spend / spending less than you earn

 I have a very difficult time talking about money with my spouse.  One of the issues with me thinking of switching jobs (ie pay cut) or quitting entirely is not that we couldn't afford it, but that it would require absolute transparency and open communication on a money front, and I'd have to go on a housewife-type allowance.

Are you good with money?  Do you struggle in any of those areas?  Gaining both financial discipline and open communication skills with my spouse are target areas for my personal development this year.

As well as  getting in shape, and learning to juggle and play the fiddle.  We'll see which of those goals happens first.

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