Thursday, March 8, 2012

WMW 2012 -- Budgeting

My husband D and I have differing styles of money management. He is more a "live for today" type of person favoring small luxuries whereas I prefer delayed larger goals such as overseas travel and real estate.

In order to reach our goals of multiple home ownership and quick mortgage pay down, we were pretty brutal to ourselves for a number of years -- ie. $20 a month allowance etc.

I manage the money for our household. My husband knows about everything and would be able to take over but he prefers I deal with things on a day to day basis.

Of course there is a cost to him for handing over the reigns like that. I'm more extreme than he is with respect to money management.

It was I who decided to go for a short amortization on our mortgages (12 yr or less). It was I who slashed and cut out vacations for a few years. And it was I who decided to max out our yearly allowable mortgage pre-payments.

I would be lying if I said this was an easy job. Who enjoys being "the bad guy"? I've warped it into a full time job as I am a control freak and like to account for every penny and (still) hate it when monetary surprises crop up.

Neither of us wish to live those uber tight days again as I still (and I'm sure D does too) have some mental scars from the whole ordeal. However by adopting some lean behaviours, we were able to have 9 yr or less in our various property mortgage amortizations.

Don't get me wrong. Every penny is still accounted for. The difference now is half my income can afford to be spending money. This was in part made possible when D started a job with a defined benefit pension plan as well as being at the tail end of mortgage debt.

Over the years we've been together I've learned to enjoy the lattes and D has experienced the feeling of having large goals actualized -- Something he had never bothered to strive for as he thought them too reachable.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend people follow our extreme ways. It was at many times a very unhealthy way to reach our goal of a healthy, sustainable and balanced life. I lost sight of forest while getting all caught up in the "pay things down in the fastest time" game.

This post is a part of Women's Money Week 2012. For more posts about Budgeting, see womensmoneyweek.com.

This was supposed to be my last post in the series but I found time to participate once more tomorrow! The topic will be Money in Your 20s/30/40s/50s/Retirement.

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