budget living relationships

Are you your household’s budget master? (And how do you handle it?)

who's in charge of your finances, couple finances, family finances, who handles the budgetMost households have one person who’s in charge of the family budget. For our little family (of two), that person is me.

I don’t really love doing it. I’m awful at math (thank goodness Excel calculates things for you!) and I hate monitoring expenses. When you see every dollar that goes in and out of your household, it can make you hyper-money-conscious, and suddenly every time your significant other buys a latte on the fly, you feel a quick sense of panic (and, weirdly enough, betrayal).

But, I’m without a doubt the one in our relationship who’s the most dedicated to keeping us on track, so the “budget master” is me. The Hubby supports me (largely by supporting whatever decisions I make and go along with the limits I set), but the ultimate responsibility falls to me.

And it’s not always fun.

I hate being the mean one.

Granted, The Hubby (as aforementioned) is generally very easygoing, and he understands how important frugality and financial responsibility are to me. He’s on board with them, in principle, although if it weren’t for me he’d be a lot more reckless with his money, just because he’s not obsessed with savings like I am!)  🙂

When I tell him we can’t afford to order a pizza because we’ve gone over our “eating out” budget for the week, he may make a (joking) pouty face, but he’s OK with it. When a band comes to town that we both really want to see, he agrees when I tell we can find the room to make it happen, but it means we’re going to have to seriously cut back on another part of the month’s budget.

He’s good about going along with these things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like a meany for being the one who always has to say “no” to things.

I also hate being nitpicky (but that doesn’t stop me from doing it).

When I’m at the grocery store deciding which toilet paper to buy, I hate being that person who says, “Well, we’ve got a coupon for the cheaper brand, so I guess it’s one-ply this week. Maybe next week the cushier kind will be on sale.”

I hate being the person who stands way too long in front the row of pasta sauces trying to figure out which one has the lowest unit price per ounce, even though it’s only a few cents difference. And I especially hate the weird feeling of guilt I get when I sometimes choose the fancier, meatier sauce just because I’m in the mood for it. It’s only a few cents! But, each cent is on my shoulders, and sometimes it can get overwhelming.

Who’s the budget master in your house? (And if it’s you, how do you handle it?)

Am I the only one who feels these odd senses of shame when I spend an extra few cents to get the non-store-brand item? (I refuse to believe store brand “toaster pastries” are as good as real Pop-Tarts, I don’t care what you say!)

Do you feel like you’re always the one saying “no” to fun things?

Share your thoughts in the comments…please! (I could use some reassurance that I’m not entirely crazy.)





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  • I like to be in control and see where my money is going, BF doesn’t mind because he says that I am so cheap that he has no problem pitching in for his half! We went to Europe for 5 months and I managed all the expenses, gave him the total and he would deposit the money, he said that he was so happy to have one less thing to worry about, while I couldn’t have done the opposite!

    • It tends to work out that way, doesn’t it? One person is much more gungho about managing the budget than the other one is. At least we’re both lucky in that our s.o.’s don’t mind letting us take the reigns. I can handle being the one to make the decisions, but I can’t imagine being able to do it if The Hubby gave me grief about it all the time.

      So I guess we’re both fortunate “budget master” hat wearers. 🙂

  • I’m definitely the “budget master” in our household. I do enjoy it except when I have to be the one to say no. you definitely aren’t the only one that feels that way!

    • Oh, good! I always feel so awful about it!

      (Which does not bode well for when I have kids and they give me the sad eyes because they want a new toy or extra dessert!)

  • I’m the budget master in our house too. We don’t budget as tightly as we used to, in part because I couldn’t justify being so stingy and saying no so often when we’re doing well now. Still, there is always more to save for, and I sometimes wonder if we should tighten the budget more. And I sometimes stress out in the grocery store over purchases or pace the aisles trying to decide whether a purchase is worthwhile.

    • Thank goodness I’m not the only one pacing the aisles! 🙂

      I’m of the opinion that money is for living. Yes, we should be frugal and save for the future, etc., but we also need to enjoy the now…and I believe it’s possible to do both. I’m all for a “balance” (ding, ding, ding–the magic word!) of financial responsibility AND allowing ourselves some little indulgences so that our money can also help us have a happy now.

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