How to Begin Budgeting as a Couple
You already know that money is the number one reason that most couples end up calling it quits. Even the most successful couples can tell you that even though they have figure out the whole money thing it wasn’t easy finding that balance. Just about to hit the 6 month mark on my marriage, I can tell you that the journey to a financial sweet spot is a hard one. But – it is not impossible.
What’s the biggest problem when you suddenly have two incomes running one household? Simple. You each have individual beliefs about money, what it can do and how you can make it. Most times, you don’t even know you have any of these beliefs until you get married. It’s deeply rooted because you didn’t notice how you adopted (or rejected) beliefs about money from your parents. So when you get married it’s easy to think now we’re working with two incomes ergo more money. This is true and false at the same time. Schrodinger’s budget if you will. You can make money go a lot further for sure but two people in one house has more costs. Here are some things my husband and I have learned about the process thus far.
- Have an open and disgustingly honest conversation about money.
Why? Because you will discover things about yourself that you didn’t even know. It’ll be awkward at first because maybe you were raised not to talk about money. If that’s the case, you’ve already discovered something about yourself. We did this over a period of time and it answered a lot of questions about why we could never get on the same page about money. Do we think the same about money now? No. However, we did the next thing on this list.
- Discuss and write down your values as a couple
Once I did this with hubbs, I wondered how we had ever functioned before. Your values as an individual will ultimately guide your decisions. As a couple, it will guide how you make decisions for each other’s best interests. After much debate, we settled on values that we felt spoke the most to us and defined them in our own way. For example, one of our values is freedom. What does this mean? It means that we view money as something that will enable us to have the freedom to do what we want, when we want it and allow us the peace of mind to pursue our dreams. With this in mind every decision regarding money has to be made with this in mind. Will it get us closer or further away?
- Begin the process of balancing the books together
This is a huge one. For one reason or another, people want to hide money from each other. I have been to bridal showers where women have been told to have “Just in case” bank accounts that are hidden from their husbands. One thing I know for sure, is if I start to put money away for “Just in case – he leaves, cheats, goes broke” etc then it will inevitably happen. I don’t want to put that energy out into the universe.
Budgeting for your home together, checking in on each other on individual investments from time to time and talking about the big spends is extremely vital. The great thing about doing the books together – we always ask each other, “Do you have money for YOU this month?”. Because hey – you want some money to do what you want – no questions asked. If we can take care of the present (Bills) and the future (Savings), then whatever is left over is up to you to do what you will.
You will find that there are some things you want to do different from other couples which is great! This whole process is about finding what works for both of you.
How are you and your partner navigating these dark waters? 🙂 Drop us a line below.