The other day as I was penciling in social event after social event into our family calendar and I was suddenly hit with how much all of these things could potentially cost. To add to that, we need a few things for the home, add some extra curricular activities for the kiddo and BAM! I am feeling awfully nervous about how to pay for all of this.
My first thought once I got all panicky was; I need to sit down with hubby tonight and figure out how we are going to pay for all of this. You see, I'm extremely debt averse. After spending years clawing my way out of massive amounts of debt, I refuse to go there ever again.
But what if hubby wasn't interested in sipping a glass of wine and talking about this with me? I'd be overwhelmed , feeling very lonely trying to balance our finances. The fact is, so many couples don't communicate enough about money and then wonder how the debt has crept up. If both of you aren't on the same page, how will you reach your joint goals? And face it, you're a family, you have joint goals.
In our household we try really hard to not use credit as quick fixes, any credit purchase is very calculated and planned to be paid off by the due dates. We will do things such as look at restaurant menus online in advance of eating out to take advantage of any specials and not blow the budget, throwing caution to the wind in the moment.
What if we just took the easy route and used our credit cards and never stopped to ask where will the money will come from to pay them off? Sure, you may have a bit of a cushion, but do you know how much? Do you talk to your spouse about your spending habits and have a solution for them?
This is why A la Carte creates custom family budgets, they include a slush account for all of those things that can blindside you even though they happen year over year (car maintenance, back to school, prescriptions, etc.). It sometimes seems impossible to remember all of those infrequent incidentals, so build up a slush fund to make sure you are covered, not a debt balance.