How to Budget as a Couple

How to Budget as a Couple.

“My biggest struggle is being on the same page as my husband.  I’m a saver.  He’s a spender.  We sit down and make a budget together, including meal plans and grocery lists, but then they don’t get followed.  We even tried Dave Ramsey’s plan (on several occasions) and couldn’t stick with it.  My husband is an impulsive shopper.  He’ll buy something that I think (and say) we don’t need, but he always finds some reason to justify it.”

Can you identify?

Most relationships have a saver and a spender. But this really can create a big problem.

Couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month.” according to Divorce Source 

Naturally, the response is, so how do we fix it?! Life is hard enough without fighting about money with the one you love the most! So be proactive and take some steps to making your future better!

Budgeting Tips for Couples

How to Budget as a Couple. Budgeting Strategies for Couples to stop fighting about money.

 

  • Money Date Night

Never talk about the budget when you both are upset about it. My suggestion is to have a Money Date Night. Make it a fun night and finish with a nice sit down meal. The whole point of the evening is to talk about the budget.

So having a relaxed evening together to specifically talk about your over all goals is an important first step in getting on the same page with your spouse. Ask your spouse what their big goals are.

  • Do you want to pay down debt?
  • Save for a vacation?
  • Buy a house?
  • Etc.

The key is to realizing you are both on the same team and working toward a solution that is actually best for BOTH of you.

Talk over the way life has been and how setting some new goals will benefit you both in the future. What are your top 3 “TEAM Brown goals”? Or whatever your last name is, fill it in. You are a TEAM!

As you talk about your dreams, I hope this will get you both excited about what CAN be your reality. Have a budget that is completely void of future goals is just plain boring and uninspiring because it is reduced to looked backwards, at the money you have already spent. But a budget with goals is looking towards a new and bright future.

  • Budget Check

Use your time together to look at your current monthly budget. We are going to look specifically for goal crushers. Those negative spending habits which are defeating the new goals.

According to my survey of women, 74% had a budget of some type. This is awesome! But we all know life is busy, busy, busy so take the time to look over your actual spending amounts and numbers. Discuss what you see and what needs to change.

Related Reading:

Financial Advice from Real Women

YNAB Categories with Free Printable

$1000 Challenge

  • Emotional Triggers

Most of us spend money because of emotional reasons. Here are some examples of purchases and the actual emotional reason behind the purchase.

$200 on work clothes = I want to be respected for the job I do.

$500 of hunting gear = My hobby provides food for my family.

$300 on gifts for extended family = I feel like I’m showing them how much I love them with gifts.

$700 on car repairs = Keeping my family secure, no matter what the cost.

You can fill in the blank for your family by thinking through this as well. Start with the sore subject in your budget. What purchases do you fight about the most? THAT right there is what you need to talk about together and decide WHY you/your spouse spend so much in that category. No judging though. Just try to talk through it honestly.

  • Create a Budget Category

By identifying why you/your spouse spend money in that category is key to changing a habit. Once you can identify the WHY it will be easier to talk about it and then I would suggest creating a category for that spending. Maybe it’s for hunting or gift shopping or whatever, just name it and put it in the budget. THEN you need to agree on a dollar amount for each month.

Most times the spending has come out of miscellaneous category or pulled from other places to cover the out of control area. By naming it and putting it in the budget it will become much easier to keep it in check.

  • Spend Your Money Wisely

Ok, so you both have talked about everything and gained a good look at the big picture for your family budget, now the challenge is STICKING to your budget.

This is where the budget seems to come apart. Why?

Because we don’t look at the budget every.single.day.

Yes, it is so critical to look at your budget every day. Your bank keeps your accounts current by handling every transaction that happens that day. We need to take notes from them and do the same thing.

But how do I stay current? I’m SO glad you asked!! Let me introduce you to my favorite app.

It is called You Need A Budget. It is a desktop program and app, which they just updated too. {Aug. ’17} I have set up our budget using the YNAB program and then downloaded the app to my phone and my husband’s phone. I am the Savvy Saver in our home so I watch the budget, keep track of spending and enter our transactions into the app. But my husband will pull out his phone and look at the categories we have talked about and agreed upon.

This makes each spending decision a choice based on current, up to date information about what the budget looks like. This is so powerful! Now he knows that buying that really awesome and wonderful power tool that is on sale will overspend the house maintenance category by $150. So then the decision is, do I take money from another category or do I just wait until I save more money? No more fighting and nagging him about money, he can make decisions with relevant information that we have discussed. He also knows how it fits or doesn’t fit into our TEAM family goals.

I really love this app. It comes with a You Need A Budget which I took full advantage of. During your trial I suggest you watch as many off the Youtube videos as possible. It will help you get setup correctly and be using your app as soon as possible.YNAB

If you need some help setting up your budget then use the Worksheet I’ve created. I walk you through how to set up your budget with YNAB with my CRUSH IT Worksheet. Download your Worksheet by signing up today! Don’t wait!

No more fighting about money! This really become empowering because your TEAM effort turns into both of you working towards the 3 big goals that will change your future!


Please follow and like us:

6 Comments

  1. Antonia August 16, 2017 at 4:58 am

    My husband and I just got married and this is so helpful! Cannot wait to go over this again with him and implement these!

    1. mrssavvy August 18, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Congratulations on your marriage! This is a great post to start implementing now and keep working on in your marriage.

  2. Kelly August 29, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    This is a great article, thanks 🙂

    1. mrssavvy September 7, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it Kelly!

  3. Elise Cohen Ho September 9, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Connecting to the emotions behind the money discussion can really make a very big difference in the outcomes.

    1. mrssavvy September 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Yes, Elise, emotions are a powerful part of the money discussion that can really divide or unite a couple!

Leave a Reply