This post was created in partnership with American Express. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve taken to calling 2018 as our Year of Adulting. Here’s why: for the last several months, Hubby and I have been getting our financial house all the way in order.
The other day we were asked what our monthly budget looks like. I chuckled because this topic has been an ongoing debate between Hubby and I for years. He doesn’t “believe” in budgeting – he calls it “living within your means.” On the flipside, my perspective is that having a budget means that we can plan for activities that might *seem* beyond our means but that are actually attainable with some preparation. Our difference in approach has resulted in miscommunications and tiffs, but during our budgeting discussion a friend pointed out that we are actually saying the same things, just differently. That was an eye opener!
While we don’t have a set monthly budget that breaks down how much we can spend of various things, we do have a number that we try to stay under each month as a whole. How do we do this? We put almost all of our purchases on one credit card and we pay off the entire balance each month, so we don’t pay interest. We keep an eye on the balance as the month goes on to make sure that we are on track to not exceed our agreed upon number. Of course, some months are harder than others (i.e. back to school or Christmas) but we try to plan for those (aka budget!) It’s been working for us AND we earn rewards from putting all of our expenses on the credit card each month.
We really try to keep the kids looped in on where we stand with spending on a regular basis. I try to be mindful to walk the line between keeping them informed so that they will have a firm grasp on financial impact of eating out or buying a new video game, and allowing them to enjoy the blissful ignorance of youth. One key part of keeping them in the loop is going through monthly statements together now that my eldest is an Additional Card Member. We’re able to track her own budgeting so that she can get a grasp on understanding how to dissect monthly statements.
In the meantime, our current system works for us. And now we even earn rewards on the purchases our teen makes on her Additional Card the same way we do on our own purchases. As we move through our Year of Adulting, we’re testing out different ways to approach our finances and are looking forward to teaching our children responsible spending habits and lessons that will stay with them for life.
Here’s to being grown! Learn more about how to add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member here: https://amex.co/2njaoF2