Join us for Day #4 of the 20 Day Budget Challenge!
Today’s topic can be a tricky one – Getting on the Same Page as your Financial Partner. I have 5 suggestions that you can read and think about that will help in the communication process. One of the biggest reasons of tension and cause for arguments in relationships and marriage is over finances. Let’s see if this budget stuff really can alleviate some tension with your partner as I claimed it could in Why Having A Budget Gives Me Freedom!
1. Put Your Budget Meetings On the Calendar! You will need to make a commitment to set aside time to sit down together and talk about money. Don’t expect that you will get all of the answers or come to an agreement all in one day. Talking about finances will be on ongoing conversation. You may need to schedule weekly meetings in the beginning to get your plan in place. After a few months of following a new budgeting system, these budget meetings can become less frequent. Even if you don’t usually “plan” conversations like this, I encourage you to do so, otherwise it just isn’t going to happen. This will take some dedication on both ends – and if you have trouble following through, invite a close friend or family member to check in on how the meetings go. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from another couple that you know and trust!
2. Before having a “budget meeting,” set up some ground rules about communication. Create an atmosphere that fosters cooperation and a mutual desire to start making improvements. Decide from the very beginning to give respect and hear one another out when choosing where to allocate funds.
3. Share Your Financial Goals With Each Other. What are your individual dreams that you can work on together? Try to learn something new about your partner and take the time to make some future plans – either new ones, or old ones that will actually get done. Dreams are great – but they are even greater when you have a plan to see them come to pass!
4. Learn To Live Beneath Your Means. Find ways to spend less, cut expenses, and trim spending. When you do, then you will have room to create an emergency fund and get a few months’ worth of living expenses saved. Next, make a plan to pay off debt. Once debt is paid, than those funds can be redirected toward savings. Discuss how to get spending under control so that you are bringing in more monthly than you are spending.
5. Budget Some FUN Money For Both Of You! If possible, find some discretionary money to allow each partner to spend as they please. Budget in a weekly allowance – maybe $20 cash in an envelope that each of you has to spend on whatever you like. Being smart and communicating about finances does not have to mean that you cannot have fun with your money. There is value to having fun! 🙂
Please leave some comments over in our Facebook Group on how you have gotten on the same page as your financial partner. No two couples are the same, and there is no black and white recipe of success. But we can make it happen with patience, determination, clear communication, and compromise!