How to Manage Household Finances, According to Mikael Daez and Megan Young

Last Updated on July 21, 2020 by Lamudi

Managing money is tough. It’s even more difficult when you’re considering someone else in the equation, such as your spouse. In fact, the mere act of making your way across the money talk without fighting with your partner can be challenging.

All these complexities are what newlywed celebrities Mikael Daez and Megan Young talked about in their podcast Managing Our Money. If you’re interested to know how they handle finances as a couple, with the hopes of getting it right in your own relationship, we’ve compiled the most important tips they shared in the show:

A Savings-Expenses System

In Daez and Young’s case, they have separate accounts for expenses and savings. The couple uses the former’s account for all their costs, from credit cards to household to groceries, while the latter’s is for savings. Admitting that they have had this system for about four years already, even prior to the wedding, the newlyweds said that they’ve grown used to it.

Daez enumerated the reasons for having such a system. The first one, he pointed out, was organization and clarity. “It’s so much easier to reconcile expenses when it’s coming from one account […] Sobrang hirap kung ako maraming expenses, si Bonez (Megan’s nickname), ang daming expenses,” he said.

For the couple, there are no ill feelings on who spends what, or how much each spends, as long as things fall within the budget. They shared that they get to have that peace because they always make it a habit to talk about major purchases.

The other reason for having such a system is “good vibes,” as Daez called it. “Imagine, meron kang account na walang lumalabas na pera. Puro income lang,” he said. There’s a sense of happiness and fulfillment in that kind of financial security.

Young added that it’s especially beneficial during these current times, when there’s not enough work or income. She shared, “It’s a nice feeling na, meron akong rainy day fund, meron akong naitabing pera during those times that we did have continuous work.”

Importance of Discipline

Admitting that she’s not much of a finance person, Young said it’s her husband who often makes the budget, calculating expenses and income for them. Daez, however, emphasized that budgeting is fairly simple and wouldn’t require complex mathematical skills. He pointed out that what matters is discipline, committing to setting aside five percent for savings.

The couple also talked about how they budget. Here are the steps they shared:

  1. Outline expenses. In their case, they categorize costs into unavoidable expenses, which cover rent, groceries, and other utilities; and additional expenses, such as gaming, coffee or dining out, and travel. Savings fall under unavoidable expenses, as Young said that it shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to budgeting. 
  2. Determine the combined income. Consider the money coming in from both of your accounts.
  3. Subtract the unavoidable expenses from the combined income. The figure you get is disposable income, which you can use for your additional expenses.

Daez emphasized that just because you have disposable income doesn’t mean you should spend it, and spend it fully. He shared that some restraint matters even in this aspect of finances. “You still have to maintain discipline when spending that extra cash,” he said.

Value of Honest Conversations

Clarifying that discipline on “luxury” purchases doesn’t mean holding it off altogether, Daez pointed out that it simply involves having an open, honest conversation with your spouse about such buys. Be ready to ask and answer questions, he advised. The couple gave their viewers a real-life example of how they’re navigating the conversation about an expensive studio desk they’ve been wanting to purchase, considering the price, need for the item, and practicality.

Daez and Young agreed, however, that large purchases, which bring in good returns on investment, are worth making. To this, they talked about a pricey yet good buy they recently made, the studio lights, which made their online content look better. 

“The reason why I wanted us to invest in it is that these brands invest in us to be able to put outputs na maganda ‘yung quality […] These brands paid us well, so I want to give them high-quality videos.”

Both of them likewise recognized that the value of some things can’t be concretely calculated. These include the sense of entertainment in gaming equipment or the strengthened bond in travel experiences. Although these are “unnecessary purchases,” they’re equally worth making from time to time.

The couple reiterated the importance of engaging in honest conversations as partners when it comes to luxury purchases, highlighting the fact that hiding things isn’t a good idea.

Being Open to Sacrifices

There will come a time when restrictive spending will really be necessary. Daez and Young shared that it’s not worth slashing down the budget allocated for unavoidable expenses to make room for luxury purchases. 

“When money is tight, you need to be open to sacrifice talaga,” Daez said. He extended this to having a family, pointing out, “When you have kids, you have more people involved in your money matters. If you’re only going to be thinking about the luxuries that make you happy, and you’re not ready to sacrifice that, I think magkakaproblema tayo,” he pointed out.

Setting Financial Goals

The couple wrapped up the podcast by sharing financial goals. Both of them refused to attach goals to a monetary value, hitting a certain amount, because they felt like it would prompt them to retire from work, which is something they enjoy. Instead, part of their short-term financial goals is enjoying “luxury” expenses, such as coffee and gaming. Young added that she wanted to have enough funds for medical emergencies.

Daez, meanwhile, revealed that they’ve been seriously considering moving out of Metro Manila, in a province such as Subic, Young’s hometown, or La Union, or in another country, such as Singapore. He shared that it’s a financial goal because they could only make it possible if the current work-from-home arrangement they have will be sustainable in the next months or years.

Despite entertaining relocation plans abroad, the couple said that they would go back to the Philippines, as it will always be home.

Handling finances as a couple is a challenge. It can bring about awkward, difficult conversations on bad habits or judgments on decisions. But as newlyweds Mikael Daez and Megan Young shared, it is possible to make it less tough on both parties when there’s good communication and commitment to discipline.


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