I'm not married, but have a long-time Significant Other. We were struggling each month to pay bills on time, and wasting a lot of money too. I knew in my head that we were making enough money to live off, as well as being able to afford a car payment, it just wasn't working out in reality. My solution was to make a list of all the fixed bills each month - tv, internet, insurance, rent, etc. and came up with a grand total. I divided that by 4 and came up with a dollar amount needed each week to pay the basic bills. Then I took my SO to the bank and we opened up a joint checking account for bills only. We both direct deposit enough money each week from our checks to cover those bills, with the balance going into our own individual checking accounts. The money in those accounts goes for gas, groceries, savings, impulse spending. It's surprising how easy it's been to stay on track this way. The evening before payday, I see how much is left in my individual account, and allocate half of it to erasing past debt, and the other half into my emergency savings account. We've gone from being behind every month, to caught up and saving money every month now!
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