New Leaves

So last year when we decided to build a new house, we decided to overhaul our current bill paying and bank account set up. When we first got engaged and then married, we had one joint checking account and one joint savings account. And it seemed like we fought about money ALL THE DAMN TIME! So not too long after I started working at my current job, M decided to open up his own bank account and pay his personal bills out of that and then put x number of dollars in the joint account (which became “my” account) to pay our joint bills. Which cut down on our number of arguments significantly.

But now, we sat down and looked at what our new house payment will be, plus all the joint bills, plus the fact that our real estate taxes and home owners insurance will not be escrowed into our monthly mortgage payment, and decided to adopt a new strategy. Now we each have our own personal accounts and one joint account that we each put $XX each pay period for all our joint bills.

And I’m not going to lie. Having my own account it slightly terrifying!

You’re probably thinking, but aren’t you a grown-ass woman? Why would having your own account be scary? That’s lame!

And I’d be inclined to agree with you. It is sad, and a little shameful. But I wasn’t really taught anything about managing money and making budgets. And I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve been bailed out with some extra cash here and there. Aside from a week-long course in the 6th grade, I knew/know next to nothing about managing my money.

But this year I am hoping to turn that around. I’ve spent time reading some good blogs, and I even broke down and read through a Dave Ramsey book. Which was something I didn’t really want to do. Mostly because I already knew all the things he was saying, I just refused to commit to putting them into practice.

I’m looking forward to working with my new account and really seeing what money I have left to work with after I transfer my set amount to the joint account each paycheck. I’m looking forward to actually wiping out my debts and seeing my credit score get higher. Because right now, it’s sitting somewhere close to gutter level.

I got tired of looking at how much money I made each year, and wondering where the hell it all went. Which was silly because I know exactly where the hell it went. Lunches out, credit card payments, late fees, overdraft fees, etc. My bonuses that I received I blew on crap. Not this year! I’m already making plans for my part of our tax refund, and planning on socking my tax season paychecks away to make a lump payment towards one of my debts. One of my goals this year is to become more financially responsible, and actually posting about my plan seems like a good place to start.

I give major props to anyone trying to get their shit straight, because honestly, it is one of the HARDEST things to do! It’s a big, scary step in the world of adulting, but it’s one that almost everyone has to take.

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