Traveling on a Shared Income

September 11, 2017 10 comments

When I got my first “big girl job” out of college there was a feeling of self accomplishment being able to support myself on my own income. If I wanted a to go shopping, I went shopping. If I wanted to take a trip, I saved and then took a trip. The world was my oyster. Today, I would still say that the world is my oyster, but I also have to think about and plan for more than myself. After we said “I do”, my husband and I merged our bank accounts and decided to share all of our assets equally.

Throughout our first year of marriage, I had to learn how to share my paychecks with another person (of course it meant even more after we had our first baby). Sharing money and being a Mrs. has meant a couple things :

  1. I have to think about another person in all that I do
  2. I can’t just pick up and leave whenever I want
  3. I have to think about expenses in a whole new way

My husband and I have some of the same interests, and some different. Although my husband also likes to travel, his #1 passion is soccer. We have learned to balance our interests and make sure that we spend enough time together, but that we also both get to do what makes us happy as individuals.

To make sure that we get to experience what is important to us, we live a pretty simple life. We pay our basic bills, buy groceries & gas, and only occasionally indulge in extras (We don’t often go out to eat or buy new clothes). We keep a spreadsheet to track our spending, and also outline our saving plans for upcoming adventures. (I will do another post in the future specifically to talk about our spreadsheet that keeps track of our assets, debts, budgets, savings etc…)

The way we save is a mathematical equation. For example, I want to take a trip in 8 months that will cost $2,200; Dan wants to do a trial in 5 months that will cost $1,300.

$2,200/8=$275

$1,300/5=$260

Together that is $535 per month for 5 months and $275 per month for an additional 3 months.

Once we know what we need to save, we start allocating money each month for the trip. On the months where we may not have $535 to spare, we save what we can, and put more money to the trip that is coming sooner, and plan to catch up in a subsequent month.

To achieve our saving goals, there are some months that we really have to cut back. This isn’t always easy, and it requires a bit of sacrifice, but it isn’t too hard for us because we know that we are saving to be able to do what we are most passionate about.

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10 Comments on “Traveling on a Shared Income

  1. This sounds like a great way to meet both of your needs (wants? Ha) — do you always save for what you want out of “your” money and what he wants out of “his” money? Or it’s all in one big pool? Just wondering how you manage when one person regularly has a more expensive wish list than the other?

    1. We always manage out of one big pool. We don’t think in terms of his and her money at our house. We each contribute to the household in different ways, and we are of the mindset ‘what’s mine is yours’. One of us makes more money right now, but that might change in a couple years and it will even itself out. We both like seeing the other do things they love and being happy 🙂

  2. Smart and very mature way to handle your finances using restraint by planning and saving for it. Debt free is the way to handle your finances. My father used to put cash in envelopes to sort out his expenses. Whatever he had leftover went to savings or entertainment. Best to you both!

    1. I have heard of the envelope method before! I wouldn’t be able to do that because knowing myself I’d loose one of the envelopes. But debt free is definitely the way to go!

  3. That’s how my husband and I do it too! We both talk about things we want to do/buy and we work a way into fitting into our budget. It’s so important to have open communication about money and to always know where you’re at!

    1. I definitely agree! Making time for each other and their joys is one key to a happy marriage. Plus, you can jump in on their fun too and have an experience you never though you would have 🙂

  4. That’s a smart way to save. It sounds like you guys have good communication when it comes to money and financial goals, which is super important 🙂

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