ho wants to be bothered with a budget? It takes time to examine what you spend, where you spend it, and how much (or how little) you make vs. how much you spend. Most do not want to do a budget because it will likely uncover some very uncomfortable truths and because of this we choose to keep ourselves in the dark…is ignorance truly bliss? But that is not going to work for a couple who need to communicate openly as your lives and finances combine. Here are some helpful tips.
(1) Create a monthly budget and WRITE IT DOWN!! Know how much money is coming in each month and then decided together where those dollars will be spent. Start with “have-tos” such as bills, insuraance, rent or mortgage payments and then add in the “spending” money second, such as groceries, fuel, pet costs, etc. If you know where you money goes each month, you are already WAY ahead of the curve! Second, schedule a sit-down coffee chat about about your personal priorities. When you jointly decide what is most important to each of you and then start saving for these goals and plans, you will feel like a team in your finances. Don’t be concerned if what you want is different. As women we tend to want to shop a bit more, while guys tend to have more expensive “toys” (ahem—tools, cars, and hobbies). It’s important that you set aside money for each of your priorities, especially when they differ from each offer. — Shanna Skidmore, Shanna Skidmore Consulting
(2) Embrace learning together. Make it a habit to ask those questions and research the answers together. Being a couple, you have a built-in ‘study buddy’ and someone to discuss your thoughts with – take advantage. By learning together, you’ll continue to improve the money moves you make and create a stronger partnership. — Mary Beth Storjohann, Workable Wealth
(3) Starting with the why of the goal is the most important thing. When you outline a goal and jump straight to the how of making it happen, it can get discouraging really quickly. On the other hand, talking at length about why you want to reach that big financial goal will set you up with the motivation and the fire, and it will make the how seem totally worth it. — Valerie Keinsley, Vallarina Creative
One big point to keep in mind, don’t get too stressed out…It’s just money. Your new relationship is waaaaay more important. Getting on the same page with money is extremely helpful, but it’s not the ultimate end all, be all. As you begin navigating these things together, you’ll be building a stronger marriage, future and family tree!