How One Couple Keeps Household Finances in Order

Family Affair: How One Couple Keeps Household Finances in Order

Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock

Setting a good example for your children when it comes to managing household finances is vital. No one knows this better than Anisha and Russ Bailey. Anisha sat down with to tell us  how she and her husband manage their household finances. What inspired you to make managing your household finances a priority?

Anisha Bailey: As a person who grew up seeing money mismanaged, I decided I didn’t want that for my family and myself. Over the last three years, I’ve implemented four financial management strategies that has kept our family’s bills paid on time, credit in great standing, and tax bills to a minimum.

What strategies do you use to manage your household finances?

Bailey: I’ve set up all of our accounts within our bank’s online bill-pay system. We can set up recurring payments, adjust our payments, and even pay individuals without having to mail out a check.

How do you keep track of bill payments?

Bailey: I don’t think we have any two bills that are due on the same day. I set all of our bills to paid on the first and 15th of every month. So any bills that are due between the first and the 15th of the month are paid on the first, and any bills due between the 16th and 31st are paid on the 15th of the month. This way all of our bills are paid on time or early.

You mentioned that you live on one income, how do you manage this?

Bailey: I know this may not be realistic for many people, but we base our ability to pay for our home, groceries, cars—essentially our monthly budget—on just my husband’s income. Anything I earn [from being self employed] is extra. That money is used to build my tax firm, boost our savings, pay down debt, and fund date nights and family trips. During our engagement back in 2011, Russ and I discussed my desire to shift the focus of my tax firm from one of tax preparation and bookkeeping to solely focusing on serving taxpayers needing tax debt and IRS audit help. We knew this would require me to rebuild my client base, which could take some time. After paying off some bills, transitioning my clients and cutting back on spending, we were able to move forward with this plan around our one-year wedding anniversary.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview where Anisha talks about how they’ve managed to keep expenses low and how they take advantage of tax breaks.