About Me

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Married Life Finances Mom and Dad Style

Since I have always been on my own, I have made all my financial decisions myself. How is it with married people? Is it "our" money or is it "your money and my money separately"?

A post over at One Family One Income gave me the idea to talk about how my mom and dad handled their finances before the days of personal computers, Internet banking and automated payments.

In my country personal checks were never a thing; that is probably why it was so easy to get used to automated payments and internet banking once they became available. Even credit cards date back to very late 80s.

So, how did my folks handle the finances?

Both my parents were paid on a monthly basis as is the custom in this country. My father used letter sized engineering papers (square printed) as his "spreadsheet". Each payment and due date would be marked on it. They would bring in their salaries in cash, set aside the necessary amounts for each bill first. The remaining amount would be set aside for groceries and clothes shopping and etc. Since I was going to a private school, there was not much left to be saved but mom would always manage to save some money for the rainy days or surprise vacations. They would each take some pocket money.

Since there were no personal checks, all bills had to be paid in person usually having to stand in line. Thankfully, there weren't so many bills in the past.

We would not have much money for long vacations but, my dad's workplace had a couple of places ran sort of like a primitive resort at a low cost by the seaside and we used to go to one of those places where my folks later bought a summer apartment when my dad retired. We were always sent to my grandparents on my mom's side each summer. They had a house and a nice garden so, it was always a pleasure. Besides, my grandma on my mom's side was my favorite person in the whole wild world.

The spreadsheet for the particular month and all the money left over from the bills would be kept in a tea tin. It was a purple tin may be Ridgways or Twinings, I am not so sure:) Small savings or may be a small Emergency Fund would go into a cigarillo box just to keep it separate.

They worked for Government Agencies so, their pay was not great but, very stable. We lived in a company apartment my dad's workplace provided at a very small cost. It was less than a quarter of a regular rent. He used to walk to work because our apartment was in a campus where he worked. Mom and I and later, my sister had to take a bus into the "city" to get to work and school.

They have sacrificed a lot putting us through a private school just because they believed in a decent education. Luckily we never were in the private school simultaneously. I graduated, my folks took a nice vacation as a late honeymoon and the following year my sis started school.

As soon as I started working and earning money,  I started to contribute to our household income too. because, I was living at home, my sister was going to the same private school I had attended and my folks were making payments for an apartment for their retirement.

Looking back, we were really lucky to have such great parents. So, rest in peace Dad and long live Mom!


  1. That's awesome! I love the spreadsheet kept in the tea tin:). Also interesting that your parents shared with you how they did it. Honestly, I don't remember really, how my parents handled their budgeting, other than their money was kept jointly.

    1. I had a budget notebook when I was little. Will talk about that in a post.

  2. That's interesting that there were no checks. If your perfect English is the result of your education, the money was well-spent, not that English is the be-all and end-all. The cheap apartment was great! Thanks for that bit of education about your country and customs.

  3. I loved hearing this story :) Thanks for sharing with us.