Irecently moved from San Francisco to New York and put my budget to the test. The short story is ... it failed.The long version is that it was the catalyst driving my husband and me to get our acts together.How my husband and I failed at our first budgetOur first go at a joint budget was more difficult than expected.Though we come from different financial backgrounds, neither of us were prepared for just how opposite we'd be on our our financial strategies.Where he wanted to use a credit card for spending, I wanted to pretend credit cards don't exist. Where he wanted to keep a buffer in the checking account, I wanted to use a zero-based budgeting system that meant we'd spend all of the money in our account each month. After several hours of back and forth and a lot of angry glares in between, we decided to table the conversation for awhile.Weeks later we set up a joint savings account, split up the bills, and maintained separate finances for everything else. Neither of us liked that strategy, but we couldn't figure out how else to do it before we could agree on how to manage daily finances. What was supposed to be a temporary measure lasted for over a year.Then it came time to move. Rather than setting a budget for the move, we had a specific number in mind. But after several weeks of dealing with moving and all its frustrations, tracking that number using separate accounts became virtually impossible. We could only assume now that the budget was blown.Our wake-up callBy our fifth or sixth trip to Home Depot (a place I hope not to have to see again for a very long time), we realized how little our budgeting method served us. I was in near panic mode about every new purchase because I had no real way of knowing how much we jointly had left to spend for the move. That's when we had our wake up call: We needed true joint accounts.Since my husband and I have been burned before, we weren't too thrilled to start the budgeting talk again. For accountability's sake, we created an appointment on our Google calendars and set aside a few hours on a Sunday night to get it all figured out.The new budgetHere's what our budget looks like now:The first to-do was find a way to track our finances together in a way we could agree on. My husband is a software engineer, and I'm the community builder at ReadyforZero. It turns out getting married at 30 brings unique challenges ... namely, combining lifestyles after spending years building them on your own.Here's the bill-pay strategy we chose:Direct deposit our paychecks into one joint checking accountFund savings accounts automatically through auto deposits from the joint checking at the beginning of the monthMove a designated percentage of the total monthly income to separate checking accounts, allowing us to have some independent spending moneyAt the beginning of the month, I pay all bills that require check payments and take cash out for my portion of the budget (so I can do my zero-based budgeting)At the end of the month he'll pay off his credit card with the joint checking account so he can continue to use credit card auto-payments on the rest of the bills and use a credit card for his portion of the budgetOur agreed upon spending categories:RentSavings (broken into multiple accounts, including Roth IRAs and goal savings)Insurance (health, rental, life)Student LoansIndividual AccountsFoodEntertainmentCoffeeUtilitiesCell PhonesTransportationMiscellaneousCable/InternetIn a perfect world, our rent would only take up 25% of our total ' but living in expensive cities makes that a difficult goal to reach. However, the large portion to rent is offset by not needing a car. And once my student loans are paid off and we both have employer-sponsored insurance, those amounts will be moved to savings, thus enabling us to save 25% of our income.Most importantly, we've scheduled quarterly budgeting meetings so we can improve this breakdown as we get used to budgeting together.Shannon McNay is the community builder at ReadyForZero.SEE ALSO:16 Things That Make You A Financial AdultJoin the conversation about this story Click here to read full news..