The New Plan

On the drive home from work tonight, Jordan and I had a frank and honest conversation about money.  We chatted about where we've been, where we are and where we want to be.  It stemmed in part by two separate events -  

...we are both on the cusp of raises again and are expecting a significant change.  I wanted to have a look and make sure our budget actually reflects what we do - not what we want to do or think we ought to do.  While I like to project and think into the future, Jordan likes to wait until we have actual numbers - the facts. Jordan wants us to stick to our spending plan - and not just increase the budget because we can't seem to get a hold of ourselves.  We've never been able to construct a system that would prevent us from using plastic.

then...a couple of days ago Jordan and mentioned wanting a pressure washer so that come spring we could clean the outside of the house easily.  I had suggested borrowing my mom's (a three hour drive away) - and you can image where the conversation went from there.  To sum it up - he is tired of me bringing up the credit card (yes, we have a balance again) every time he mentions wanting something.  What I hear (which is not what he's actually saying) is that he wants to go out and buy something right now when he's really just making a statement of preference.

So - we had a conversation about that.

We both acknowledged that the place we're in now - is not the place we want to be financially.  We looked at what we've tried - cash and credit - neither worked for us.  Cash slips out of the fingers too quickly and credit...well it gets swiped to quickly.  The thing that Jordan did like about cash was that ones it's gone - it's gone.  That's it.

So Jordan suggested that we explore using our debit card - though he knew that last time we did this I was frequently upset/agitated when trying to keep track of things.  We chatted about why that was - we have so many ins and outs in our main account...every single bill we have is automated (except for the credit card) - and using the debit freaks me out!  What if spend money that is allocated for a bill.  What if something bounces?  No way!

I'm not sure who's idea it was, and it really doesn't matter, but we've come up with a new plan...a better plan.  Once that we came up with together and we think it will work!

The New Plan

  • Stop Using Credit Cards - cut them up if we have too.
  • Maintain chequing account for all bills - with no debit card access
  • Open new chequing account for day to day spending
We will deposit money into the new account, much like we do for our savings accounts on a regular basis that corresponds with our pay schedule.   We will both have debit access and will use this account for groceries, gas, entertainment ect.  Here's the beauty of it - if we run out, we run out and it's okay - because nothing that is automated will be tied to it - nothing will bounce.

The credit card debt will stop increasing.  It will go down.  It has to.



  1. I love how well you communicate with each other.

  2. This just might be the plan that will work. It will require frequent discussion so you don't get a haircut at the same time Jordan is buying a whatsit, both with the last $100 bucks. But a plan you both came up with is priceless.

  3. That sounds like a good compromise. My fiance likes using the debit card because once the money's gone, it's gone. As long as he keeps an eye on his balance, he knows how much he can spend.

  4. Thank you!

    It's not always easy but we always come around to it. Mom has said it's something that she really enjoys about Jordan and my relationship.

  5. Mom is right about the frequent discussion so you don't try the last set of money at the same time. Mobile online banking can help with this if you do a check of the account before you swipe, or a quick phone to each other.

    A better system may be having two separate debit accounts so you both will always have an idea of what is left. What you could do is, set up another auto transfer from the main account around pay day to top up both checking accounts. It would require less communication and you both should have a better grasp on what is left.

  6. @ Rafiki - thanks for the suggestion. This is one that Jordan and I talked about as well. This doesn't work for us because the money in that account isn't mine or his - it's for groceries, gas ect. as well as a few haircuts and what not. So if one of us drains our account for fun stuff and the other has to buy groceries or whatever...it could lead to more fights then it's worth.

    We're actually a part very rarely so think the joint system should work pretty well.

  7. I think that its good to stop using your credit cards. I log into my bank account all the time to check to see what we've spent. I know when the bills are going to come out so I'm prepared for that.

  8. Hubby and I have two separate bank accounts - one we use specifically for food and eating out because that's our biggest problem! It works because when it's gone, it's gone. I specifically did not automate my bills because I like to choose when to pay them, and I sit down every time we get paid and pay them before we do any grocery shopping etc. The only exceptions are the mortgage, car payment and our savings which automatically come out on pay day. I like controlling when the companies get my money :)


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