Friday 6 January 2012

Ignorant Claudia - Housewife style

A few days ago, I read over at New Duds, that some bloggers were doing a Spending Fast. Basically, for a specific amount of time (one year according to the official pledge), you get out of whatever debt you have...or something like that.

If you read my blog, you might know that I live in a part of the world that offers a year long paid maternity leave. After much consideration, Dan and I decided that it would be awesome if I could stay with Alice an extra 6 months. Soon, I will find myself financially dependent of my man. I don't really know why but this situation freaks me out a bit.

Basically, I will do a Spending Fast but with slightly different objectives. My goal is not to clear out my only debt (unless somebody drops dead and I inherit a huge amount of cash to pay my home mortgage) but to WISELY spend my money...fine, my husband's money!


If you are a "no income housewife" (or if you want to use your imagination), how do you manage your personal finance? Lets face it, we all need a certain amount of cash to get stuff. Should I get a fixed monthly allowance (I suddenly feel like a teenager!) or just use the common account card and move on with my purchases (Dan really doesn't care)?

Either way, I feel the need to embark on a responsible financial journey with Alice as my loyal sidekick...we are up to the challenge :)

* * * * *

vanessa at lynn david: Well, I still don't know how to use it but one thing at the time!

oscarlucinda: Thank you! However,I have no fabric stash at the moment :(

racheal: Ah you said :"These husbands!". Now, he goes to bed late but he knows that he can't complain...better than nothing!

juliette: So fun that we are in the same situation! I don't think that you have any Canadian Tire in the US. It is like a big hardware store that sells all kinds of things. My mother in law told me that the quality is not what it used to be but it is still pretty good to my opinion. Here is the link but I'm sure that you can get something very similar in the US. I did a amazon search
and got some very nice but $$$ stuff! Happy New Year xox


Little Gray Pixel said...

H and I have shared a joint bank account since we got married. There have been times when one of us has made more money than the other, but we have always pooled together our earnings as "ours." I don't think you should give yourself an allowance, but if you want to spend less to keep more money in your account that sounds like a good idea.

Having an allowance just makes it seem like you aren't worthy or like you're not contributing to your family, you know?

Just my 2 cents. And I'm insanely jealous of (a) your year-long paid leave and (b) your six-month extension!

Anne said...

I'm interested in reading what others will answer to that, because I have just started a 6-month unpaid extension as well. I'm not so comfortable with the idea of being dependent, but we both agree that taking care of the baby is a full time job. I think F is going to pay for what used to be paid with the joint account. Things that are only for myself like clothes I will pay with my humble savings, so I guess I will try not to spend too much.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the shout out :) Torrey and I joined our bank account a few years ago when we started New duds. All our money is mutual but I still ask him about purchases over $50 or so. Most of the time he doesn't care, he knows I wont go all crazy and if I do I will be the one to clean up my own mess and learn the lesson from it. I give him a little leeway to to buy his fancy beers ;) The fast has been great though, I feel like I was buying needless things when we have bigger goals to save for (home, retirement, family) so it has cut those out entirely. Love those blocks!! They and Alice are beautiful, I cant believe she is almost a year old, holy cow!

Sandra said...

Okay so I'm glad you posted this. My husband and I have been going through hard-ish times over the last few years. For 2 years he didn't have a "real" income. He did some small jobs but we lived off my small income. Then I found out that I was pregnant. He still didn't have a job, he got a good job 2 months before I went on leave. Very scary. He makes what I feel is pretty good money not as much as he had made in he former job, but he is happier. We have made the choice that I will stay home and start a small day care.
So my point is that you will be fine. Budget what you need for your fixed cost, how much you want to spend on food (you can save a lot there), how much you want save for her school fund and how much for fun (vacation) and then just spend what's wisely.
A way I save money is buying most of Finn's clothing second hand and I do a lot of cooking at home. Don't sweat the small stuff. It will all work out in the end.

Sandra said...

Sorry that was kind of rambling but I feel like I could talk about how much money we want and how much we need for hours. Just remember that you are young and money will come and go.

Andrea said...

Go about as usual the first month or so and track everything you spend...every penny. Then make a rough budget. If you say I can reasonably spend $400 a month on all food and household items then set that as your budget. That way you can keep accountable to spending wisely. I stay at home with no income. We have three kids and live in an expensive area. I want to be home and so spending my husbands income wisely is my financial contribution. I may not be bringing a paycheck each week but if we spend $300 on food to feed our family instead of $500 I consider that $200 I brought in. Think of the gas you save, child care costs, work clothing, etc. pretty soon I realized I was saving our family as much or more than I'd make going back to work. Plus this is where I want to be. It's a win win for us. I key is to try different things until you find the balance that works for your family. Good luck!

Emmy Lou said...

So this may sound silly but I always say there is freedom in a budget :) cause then there is no guilt associated with the spending if the money was designated for that use in the first place.

I use and love it. It will track every transaction (debit/credit/atm) and then you categorize it.

Budget wise both the hubs and I have allotted personal spending money each month, but we have a separate category for things like Entertainment (specifically going out together) and for household expenses (TP, cleaning stuff) and so on with your normal budget categories - groceries, gas, clothing, bills. And we do let certain budgets roll over - so if there is something pricey one of us wants we can let our personal money roll over for a month or so.

UK lass in US said...

We have a joint account: I call it 'our money', he calls it 'his money'... Still, I'm not much of a spender and believe in discussing big purchases (usually because they are furniture and I'll need his help putting them into the car...), so we get by. Could have done without the ridiculously high emergency vet bill on Christmas Day, mind.

MariaW said...

We just use a joint checking accont. Every month, bils and savings get "pulled" automatically on pay day and the rest we can both access with our check car. We ave agreed on a ballpark figure for personal buys such as clothes etc. we have a good open dialogue about money so there is never any real issue. We initially went to joint account as we were in your situation with extended maternity leave (I too had 1year paid), but we decided to keep it as it worked really well. We felt we just communicated better about money and we no longer have to keep so much track of who spends on what. When we had seperate accounts the costs would sometimes get really skewed bc I tended to get all groceries and clothes and gear for the kids etc

Vanessa said...

I havn't read the other's comments so I may be repeating what's already been said. We are a one income household and all of our accounts/credit cards are completely combined. I guess we just like the simplicity and transparency of it all. I don't have an "allowance" but typically try to be concious of what I'm spending - and we discuss larger purchases. Even though he makes 100% of our income we've never looked at it as his money. It's just part of what it takes for me to stay home full time - something we both want. (He's hinted a few times that he enjoys being able to provide enough for me to stay home, which I think is cute.)Good luck!