Household budgets: When one partner won’t budget

couple doing finances on computer

In my last article at Get Rich Slowly, I gave the background on my income and expenses. My husband's income and expenses are a little more difficult to compile. For one, Jake left the life of a steady paycheck about a year ago in order to start his own business. This means that his income fluctuates, which of course we knew going in. It also means that the first few years he's going to make much less than we hope he will eventually. We also knew that going in.

However, another major factor is that Jake's idea of household budgeting is "make so much money it doesn't matter what you spend because you can afford it all." When he started working at The Big Firm right out of law school and was making $90,000 a year, this was something that was more or less possible, especially since he was working 80+ hours a week and didn't accumulate vacation or sick time. He didn't have time for anything really spend-y. However, even though he's now living the entrepreneur's life, he's resistant to budgeting. Earlier this week I sent him J.D.'s article about how to budget for an irregular income, and his response was:

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Frugal or foolish? Our cruise-ship wedding

How much should you spend on a wedding? Well, that depends on who you're asking, I suppose. As I'm sure most of you are aware, the personal finance blogosphere tends to be divided into two main camps: those that are focused on investments and entrepreneurship and those that are focused on frugality.

In my experience, however, the entrepreneurship camp is pretty live-and-let-live. The whole “cut everything you don't care about so you can spend whatever you'd like on the things you do care about” school of thought. When you think about it, this makes sense for a few reasons.

  • We all have different skill sets to be utilized in our respective side hustles.
  • Different skills mean different pricing schemes.
  • We all have different work and family situations that we're fitting said side hustles in around.
  • We all care about spending our money on different things, and those things cost different amounts and reflect our tastes and values.

Long story short, what this means is that sometimes it's difficult to talk about investment and entrepreneurial issues in a way that applies to everyone.

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