Monday, September 19, 2011
Sometimes it Doesn't Have to be Even-Stevens
The boyfriend and I have been living together for two months now, and I haven't talked much about how that's going financially. So here's a post about it!
We decided that I will pay a little more rent than he does, since I do make more than him. We divide up the bills pretty evenly. I pay electric and internet, he pays water and Netflix. That part is easy, as it's pre-determined. We don't share phone bills or anything else yet, so the only other expense is groceries.
I tend to cook more than he does. Partly because I like it, and partly because I'm more of a planner than he is. I like to figure out what I'm making all week, shop for it on Sunday, and be done. He tends to figure it out as he goes, and my planning doesn't leave much room for that.
I had just been thinking that I spend more on groceries than he does, because I buy for the meals. We've split groceries when we go together, but this month I know I had spent more. It didn't exactly bother me, but I was aware of it and figured if I used my whole grocery budget for the month, then I'd ask him to pitch in. And I thought that long-term we needed to be a little more even. I feel like we're a team in a lot of ways, but I also still feel very aware that my money is MINE and his money is HIS.
But then, last night I was talking to him about how I'm really struggling with staying on track with weight watchers. He suggested I eat more at breakfast, so I'm not as hungry throughout the day. I quote, "You could get up a little earlier and make eggs or something. It wouldn't take that long."
My response: "Um, let's talk about things I might actually do. I hit snooze a ton as it is, I'm not going to pretend I'm getting up fifteen minutes earlier to make eggs!"
(I'm lazy. But whatever, not the point.)
I also don't like milk, so I can't eat cereal. I'm not picky in general, but breakfast isn't my strongest meal.
So, when I came home from work, BF had gone to the store. He made a fruit salad (zero points), and had made a big batch of cranberry maple oatmeal in the crock pot. He also bought ingredients for a blueberry coffee cake that he got from the weight watchers site. I called him at work and he said he figured if he made breakfast for me, then I'd be more likely to eat in the morning and do better with my goals. He also said he bought stuff to make dinner tomorrow.
For the record, he also joined weight watchers to be supportive, and is kicking my ass at it. He's lost WAY more than me and is more disciplined. I was secretly lamenting this, feeling like he must think I'm a total failure and blah blah blah.
Instead, he quietly found a way to be supportive again, and surprised me with his thoughtfulness. I have no idea how much he spent on the groceries. And I couldn't care less that I still probably spend more than he does on our groceries. Sometimes it's less important that it's even in spending, and more important that we're a team.
This doesn't mean my budget goes out the window or that I will just buy everything...but I do want to start to think of finances more in the "we" than in the "me."
How did you transition to joint finances? Was it difficult?