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<p>DH and I keep talking about needing to set up a budget, but I have no idea where to start.<br><br>
Also, I would love any book or website recommendations on how to set up a budget for people who have never been on a budget before.<br><br>
Thank you for reading my post. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></p>
 

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That's tough. We've always combined our incomes and are on the same page financially.<br><br>
It seems to me that you need to do a whole bunch of communicating about goals and priorities before you can begin to set a budget. If he's not ready for children, budgeting for them isn't going to be on his radar. If it's totally "his" money and "your" money, so long as he's paying what he's agreed to pay toward household expenses, I don't see how you can legitimately complain about his ridiculous gadget purchases.<br><br>
There are a million books on budgeting and the public library will have a selection. Different things work for different people, so check out a bunch and see what clicks with you. Many folks swear by Dave Ramsey (I couldn't stand to handle money as he suggests, but he's great for some people, and his approach to debt reduction is sensible.). Others like Suze Orman.
 

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You have been married a year, and from your explanation/story, it seems like you are still both roommates with the money.<br>
You have his money, your money, etc. It is still not too late to pool all the money and have a money partnership. There will likely be times in your marriage when you make more or nothing at all if there are some babies coming.<br>
These his and her paradigms can be really hard on communication and money is a challenge for most marriages.<br>
I love and support midwifery, but he could have a similar idea about the necessity of that money spent. I have a gadget husband too, by the way. :)<br>
Hope you can consider pooling the money...my relatives and friends that still separate their money have these issues all the time since sometimes savers and spenders fall in love...<br>
Good luck with the next steps.
 

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We combined our money pretty quickly after we got married. It works really well for us.<br><br>
I am a Dave Ramsey/Larry Burkett kind of girl. It works for me that every dollar has a purpose, at the beginning of the month, before it is spent. This took my dh a LONG time to come around to. But, I do all the bills/bookkeeping, so it was either do it my way, or he had to convince me of his way. He was unable to convince me, so he came around to my way of thinking.<br><br>
We work with variable income, too, and the way I budget is to have a list of things that need to be paid each month. I start with the basics (mortgage, utilities, food, gas for the car, insurance for the car, etc), then have debt repayment (we still have student loans), then right under that is "savings for low months" for months when we don't have enough income to meet our expenses. After that savings is all the extras. Listed in order of our priority, though sometimes this changes month to month.<br><br>
For instance, at the top of those extras is cable (not tv..just internet and phone). It'd be a pain to cancel this and not pay it. BUT... it is an extra, and we could cancel it if needed. Then, I list all our expenses, including a gift category and haircuts and a bunch of others.<br><br>
And, when we get money in, I just go through and fund the envelopes as far as I can. If "as far as I can" doesn't reach to all the necessities, then I pull some out of savings for low months. Paying mortgage, utilities, food, gas, etc, is our minimum.<br><br>
But, if "as far as I can" doesn't touch gifts, then, well, I don't give gifts that month. Or we don't get a haircut. Or buy new toys. Or whatever.<br><br>
We spend what we have in those envelopes, and when they are gone, they are gone.
 

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We're also Dave Ramsey fans (took a class last fall). Our finances have been combined since we got married.<br><br>
Our budget is constantly changing and evolving, my DH is a geek as well. We have more computers in our house than I think any person needs. However we have "fun" money for each of us, he can save his up for new computer parts and I can spend mine on new clothes or whatever it is I want. That is our money to use however we want without needing "approval" from the other. We get a monthly amout and once it's gone... that's it for that month.
 

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We combine our money. Even before we got married, I worked 3 jobs while in college to pay off his huge credit card debt so we could start our marriage debt-free (well, aside from school loans). I have a hard time imagining how separate finances would work. But I guess if you prefer to do it that way, then you should each have bills you are responsible for? And I guess as long as each of you paid your bills, you could manage the rest of your individual money however you want? How is this going to work when you do eventually have children? Do you have a lot of joint expenses? Do you each pay half, or is it proportionate (by income or usage)?<br><br>
I would budget your income based on 28 hours a week, since it looks like that's the minimum you'd have, and then have a system for spill-over... so if you worked a 40 hour week, the extra 12 hours would go into savings or toward some unnecessary personal expense.<br><br>
Regardless of whether you combine or separate your money, it might help if you both agree on the amount of money that you can spend on yourself each month. He might see you getting your nails done or paying for a class or a magazine subscription and figure he is spending a similar amount of money on the computers, it's just all at once (big expense vs. little expenses that add up all month). If you each have discretional spending $ then you can feel free to do whatever it is you want to do with it.<br><br>
Here's how finances work in our house. DH & I both put whatever we make straight into our checking account. Sometimes he has made more money, sometimes I have, sometimes we have gotten benefits through his job, right now they're through mine. All the money goes together -- ALL of it -- and I pay the bills from that account and transfer extra to savings. We don't really spend much money each month, if we did I'd give us each a stack of cash eash month, but since we don't, if DH or I needs something (new shirts or gadget or whatever), I get it for him on freecycle or shop the sales. Usually we shop together or at least agree on products, price ranges, etc. ahead of time, especially if it's a big purchase. DH came into our marriage having no idea about finances, credit, budgeting, bargaining, etc. but because we shop together he has come a long way (and at the same time, I've learned to let it go when he occasionally spends $10 on something I could have gotten for $3). Since we have a lot of savings, we can decide together that we need something (a GPS, a vacation, etc.) and know we have the money to do it.<br><br>
Sorry this is so long-winded, just trying to paint a picture for you!<br><br>
I also think you need to discuss holding off for a baby 'til you're financially ready. You'll never feel truly ready, so you may want to decide on concrete goals ($X amount of savings, $Y annual income, etc.) that you feel would allow you to provide for a kid. For us, that was just waiting 'til DH was done with school & in a full-time job, but if you both already have jobs, you could start saving up any extra so you can reach your goals...
 

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If your DH is good enough with computers to be starting a business, he should know how to duel boot a machine he already has with a Linux/Mac operating systems. He doesn't actually need to buy the machine.<br><br>
As far as having different incomes and separate money, DH and I did something sort of similar before we had kids. He made about twice as much as I did, so he paid twice as many bills. He paid for the mortgage, utilities and insurance and I paid for groceries and other incidentals. This worked really well because our contributions were figured by the amount we made. We were left with the same amount of money to save or spend as we saw fit.<br><br>
Looking back, I can't really believe we did that. It worked at the time, but now we just have the same accounts and credit cards and any money that comes in, no matter its source, is our families.
 

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We've always combined our money.<br><br>
As for your income and budgeting, can you base your fixed costs on what your lowest possible income would be (lowest hours) and then have everything extra either go into savings or be spending money? So that part would vary but you'd base your fixed income on the part that was "guaranteed"?
 

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DH and I have been married for 6 years (holy cow!) and have only just joined our finances. We still have separate accounts, but they're both joined. We divide bills too just because it seems easiest- he makes more, so he takes care of the mortgage, groceries, gas, and taxes; I take care of the utilities, insurance, and randomness.<br><br>
Up until last summer after I read Dave Ramsey's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTotal-Money-Makeover-Financial-Fitness%2Fdp%2F0785289089%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1273934000%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Total Money Makeover</a> we handled money very differently- I was a free spender and DH was tight-pursed. We divided bills so that he was sure we'd have them covered and I could do what I wished after paying my share.<br><br>
I suppose ideally we'd work out of one communal account, but since we both have two linked accounts with the same bank already with cheques attached, it's essentially the same deal without the formality.<br><br>
Anyways, that's my story. It's not always an easy or seamless union financially. I think I'd only be willing to combine accounts if you're both on the same financial page and that one person's money wouldn't get foo-fooed away. Once you discuss your goals and work together to reach them, then I'd merge.
 
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