Living Below Your Means
New Here and People Think I'm Crazy

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By LaraAmber
June 21, 2006

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My husband and I got married in March of 2005 and since then I've been CFO for our little family of two. I do bookkeeping/reporting as part of my job responsibilities, and since I spend all day looking at P&L's, it made sense that I'm the one doing the paperwork at home. I do enjoy working with money; it comes naturally to me.

We're doing pretty well. We make decent incomes (nothing to brag about, but enough to live on in our market) and have no debt other than our 15-year mortgage on our townhouse. We sock money away into savings (16%) and retirement (15% for him, 20% for me).

When our friends and coworkers hear about our life, they think we are nuts. Why they laugh:

1. Found money rule. All found money, including rebates, refunds, loans to friends, tax returns, presents, bonuses, and pay raises go into savings. My friends joke they should make the check out to my savings account instead of me.

2. My monthly reports. My husband and I used to have arguments about our finances. He couldn't remember what I said the week before about our electricity bill, or he didn't want to talk about our money when I did, little things like that. So at the end of each month I write him an email "report" reviewing the month's expenses, savings, and current account balances. It's basically a combined P&L and Balance sheet. I don't get asked the same question 5 times, and he doesn't feel out of the loop.

So I figure I belong here with other people who are crazy and don't want to live straining the seams of their budget. I'm tired of being surrounded by people who think "I can afford the monthly payment" instead of "can I afford the total cost, including interest".

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