money management

Why It’s Called “Personal” Finance

tweet announcing G as budgeter

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted out the above special announcement about G becoming the president of budgeting after we combine finances (and yes, I realize there is somewhat of a typo in the tweet – sorry, that’s what happens on a teeny-tiny keyboard in an 140 character space).

Not surprisingly, I was met with a couple shocked responses.  But, really, this is no surprise.  Do you see many detailed budgeting posts on my blog?  Nope.  Even when I was anonymous, I rarely blogged about my weekly/daily spending habits or my detailed budgets.

Extremely detailed budgeting just doesn’t get me all jazzed up.  Yes, it is what got me out of debt, but now that I’ve gotten comfortable with my spending habits and living below my means, I don’t see the need for a strict budget if it doesn’t excite me.

G, however, is very different.  He maintains a meticulous, self-made budget in Microsoft Excel.  I sorta love that about him, too.  He updates it regularly – I think weekly, but sometimes daily.  I always know when he’s crunching the numbers because I get e-mails like “where did I spend $37.08 last Saturday?” or “we ate out too much this month”.

Even though I’m not a budgeter, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in personal finance.

While G thrives on working the details, I seem to focus on the bigger picture … in most cases.  To illustrate, here are our personal finance interests:

Amber’s Personal Finance Interests:

  • Big purchases (like a home) and the related saving and spending journey
  • Making more money through professional growth or freelancing/side hustles
  • Frugality & shopping for bargains
  • Long-term financial goals

G’s Personal Finance Interests:

  • Budgeting – the detailed kind
  • Detailed saving for all purchases, big and small (from groceries and oil changes to cars and houses)
  • Investing
  • Short-term and long-term financial goals

My personal finance focuses have most definitely shifted in recent years.  Like I mentioned earlier, extreme budgeting got me out of debt, but since my saving and spending habits have changed, I don’t have the need to budget so scrupulously.

One habit that hasn’t changed since I became debt-free?  Frugality and my desire to look for good deals.  I have scored some killer deals during wedding planning and really do plan to be a bargain-hunter for the rest of my life.  What’s the point of spending $100 on something when you can spend $50?  If I can’t find a good deal, it’s not the end of the world (trust me, they’re not always out there), but it never hurts to try.

In addition to being the family budgeter, G has also been assigned the investing hottie guru.  Investing interests him, he does his research, and I trust him to make good decisions for us and our family.  He controls our employer-sponsored retirement plan investments and all our outside investments (independent retirement accounts and other investments).  He’s good at it and it works for us.

Something that I have been focusing on more in the recent years is personal/professional growth and side-income streams.  With my CPA and freelance writing, I have made a lot of progress recently.  I’m excited to see where both ventures take me.  G is also starting to try his hand at professional growth – he recently started studying for a computer-related certification exam.  Go G!

What are your personal finance interests?  What personal finance topics don’t interest you?


  • I’d have to say that this is a great post – not many people will divy up the financial responsibilities to their specific tastes and interests, but that’s exactly what you did – it should work out rather well, and I think if you both keep each other updated on goals/strategy, it wont bore the other to tears and allow for maximum return on time spent. There’s a reason that some people are computer programmers and others are teachers. The computer programmer may (but may not) make a shitty teacher, and vice versa.
    These specializations are everywhere, we all just need to find our own and dive into it!

  • Slightly off-topic, but I’m interested to know whether you are combining finances automatically after you’re married, or is it something you decided to do for a particular reason? Will you keep separate bank accounts?

  • when my wife and I first got married money was extremely tight. We were making a lot less money and we had a huge amount of debt. Credit Card payments, student loan payments, and we had very little income left over each month. Now we make a whole lot more money and we only have one student loan payment each month. That means we have increased our spending in other areas. We pay for luxuries like yoga memberships, expensive hair cuts, expensive food, and we eat out a lot on weekends. We need to be more frugal in order to get out of debt, but as you make more money it because easy to forget about your goals. What I am trying to say it is good to have someone so meticulous with their money as he will probably be a good guide to help you meet your goals.

  • Right now, I’m mostly interested in budgeting and living frugally and don’t spend much time thinking about or researching long-term investments, which I KNOW is a huge failing on my part. I’m getting there, but right now I’m still trying to get my head around the day to day. Something else I know I SHOULD be interested in – but am not – is hustling and generating additional income streams.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of asking my husband to take the financial reigns for a month or two, because I think dealing in the minutiae a little bit might spark a greater interest in financial planning overall. Or, it might spark a shopping spree. Who knows? Ha!

  • I’m the same way! I’m a huge minimalist so budgeting down to little details just doesn’t matter to me. I live by three core principles. One, never pay full price. Two, do I really need to buy this? And three, will this be worth the time I put in at work this week. I have lived by these rules and I’ve been pretty successful in terms of personal finance. 80/20! if you got the big items down, the other 20% really doesn’t matter that much. It’s all about doing what works for you. Some are detailed oriented, while I am big picture oriented.

  • Ha! Yep, he knows when I’m catching up on tracking, cause I’ll yell out “Did you go to Burger King yesterday??” or “What was that $20 withdrawal for?!”

    I’m not an intense budgeter. I also don’t really know much about investing. I don’t think I need to at this stage. I have my retirement funds and my shorter term savings, and I see no need to learn about buying individual stocks for a long time…if ever. I guess if we won Lotto and found ourselves with tons to invest for the long term…but we don’t play Lotto, so that’s a moot point.

  • It’s great that you two can work as a financial team and divide up the responsibiltiies. I have to do it all, including budgeting, saving, investing, paying the bills and bringing in all of the income. It’s a lot of responsibility. My wife is getting much better with finances, but it’s been a long road.

  • I hate paying bills, it feels like a really tedious process to me even though it’s not. So I have already told CB and I’d like to designate him Chief Bills Officer when we get married. I will retain my title as Chief Financial Officer, of course, as I am much more interested in the long-term (and I’d argue, much more interesting) aspect of personal finance. 🙂

  • I wish my BF was more interesting in budgeting. Ironic that I’m the one wih the debt and not him. I hope we can both share the budgeting responsibilities soon!

    Good for you and your fiance!

  • I keep a meticulous Excel spreadsheet of my budget too. Updated HOURLY. I think I have a problem.

  • I think it is a great idea. I always struggle to keep a budget. I have tried to do the detailed budgeting but have yet to be successful. I too am more into the bigger picture. It sounds like the two of you can help each other. He will you to see the small day to day items and you can help him to see the bigger picture.

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