When we got married, my spouse and I started a new phase in our lives – having double income with no kids (or DINK as J Money would say). It is THE financial sweetspot, even better than SINK (single income no kids), because you now bring home twice the income, while cutting your fixed costs in half.
Halving your fixed costs
Living with someone certainly has its perks. Certain fixed costs are reduced such as rent, utilities, food and transportation. Consumption increased for certain areas though- food, electricity and water. But generally, costs are lower now than when I was single. Veggies and fruits are usually sold in large quantities in the grocery so it’s easier and more cost-effective to shop for them now.
Double the income
Having a husband doubled the household income. However, despite the increase, I strive for my husband and me to live on just one income – my husband’s. I want to avoid lifestyle inflation.
It’s really hard, but I try. Haha. It’s so easy to lose sight of our long-term goals at times (the end point being a remote time in the future) and just give in to the spending spree. However, I keep in mind that the end goal will be worth it – financial independence and early retirement at 40- these are things worth delaying gratification for. We try our best to avoid inflating our lifestyle.
I also use this as a safeguard against one spouse losing his/her job or source of income. In case this happens, we’ll hopefully be alright, having been used to living in a single-income household. In the meantime, the bulk of my income(or what’s left after work-related expenses) goes to savings and investments to fund any future projects (fingers crossed on these lol).
Keeping close tabs on spending
One thing that was a complete challenge initially was tracking the spending (from our joint funds). I am quite the steady tracker and I love doing a monthly post -mortem on where money went every month (to check myself if I’ve been spending frivolously and thereby correct any such behavior).
However, the app I use doesn’t allow for two accounts. I searched far and wide for another app I could use on my phone but couldn’t find one that was as good as Money Manager.
So now I had to use the same app on two different gadgets. The joint money I track from a tablet while my separate funds I track from my phone.
I track my separate individual funds separately (just logistically easier that way considering husband and I already had individual assets before we got married) so that I can easily calculate and monitor my current net worth.
So far, so good. We’re a young couple and still finding our rhythm. We would love to hear how you guys handle the money situation in your relationship / marriage !
20 something lawyer