I think one of the hardest parts of marriage is coming up with a budget style that works for both spouses. One spouse normally has "control" over the money and pays the bills. I'm no good at paying bills and my husband is an accountant, so it seemed only natural that he take this lead role.
I smiled, and ripped up the pie chart.
He's not done that since.
So how do you work out a way for both spouses to have access to money, but to not be accountable for every single (@#$()@#($* penny you spend? YES, we worked it out. Here we are, now married 34 years and we've never had one fight over money since the infamous Day of the Pie Chart. Here's what we do.
We have two checking accounts and two savings accounts - in different
banks. We both have access to all accounts, but I don't carry around
"his" checks or debit card, and he doesn't carry around mine.
My husband is responsible for all utilities, housing costs, car costs, insurance, entertainment/vacations and maintenance.
I am responsible for all groceries, medical (co-payments and medicine), clothing, pets and pet care, gift giving (birthdays and Christmas), and any new household items (new toaster, any new decorating, etc.)
I don't work outside the home, with a few exceptions here and there. I sometimes earn money through Ebay or CraigsList or by having a yard sale (or by waiting until my husband left for work to sell his riding lawn mower because it didn't have brakes and he ran over my bird feeder)... So I depend on my husband's income entirely. So, at the beginning of the month, he deposits XXX dollars in my account to cover the expenses for which I'm responsible, plus a tiny bit of wiggle room for unexpected expenses (aka fabric).
If I have money left at the end of the month, it goes into my savings account and I feel free to use it in any way I like (quilting class, fabric, vacation to Mexico with the pool boy -- still saving for that one.) The money my husband has left over at the end of the month goes into his savings account as our emergency fund and/or retirement fund.
Lately prices have gone up so much on groceries and gas, that when my husband got a raise at work, I asked for a raise as well. It only made sense (to me).
My husband no longer has to know where every penny I spend goes, so long as I stick to my monthly budget as planned. In his "pie chart" he just labels the money that goes to me "household expenses". For me, I know I have to stick to a budget, but that I don't have to report that "today I bought a yard of fabric on sale" and feel guilty about it.
Our style may not work for everyone, but it certainly works for us.
Life is good - especially when there's no Pie Chart involved!