The New York City couple, both in their late 20s, were used to financial freedom before saying their vows in September 2018, according to Lowry. But after they got engaged, she says, they knew they needed to develop a team approach to money.
“Having the set up we’ve created, which is tailored to our emotional relationship to money as well as our relationship to each other, has really helped set us up for success,” Lowry tells NBC News BETTER. “And it has mitigated a lot of the common issues that happen early on in a marriage when you are joining your money together.”
Here’s how Lowry and her husband, a public school teacher, do it.
The grid includes the current running total on each fund, how much they have saved, and a separate column detailing their goals for each, according to Lowry. She says they track their student loan debt in a separate tab.
“This really has been created into a large grid which has, down to the penny, how much out of each of our paychecks goes into these different funds,” she says.
Lowry says they put an extra $300 per month in the bills fund on top of what is necessary in order to accumulate a buffer for unexpected expenses.
Each month, the couple has a monthly meeting where they look at their budget and decide how they are going to allocate to what.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re doing zero-sum budgeting, but we do give every dollar a job and we do account for every dollar,” Lowry says.
The couple pool their money into one main account, she says. From there — after they’ve determined their goals for the month — they divvy it up and transfer it into the appropriate checking and savings accounts, she explains.