10 Essential Budgeting Tips for Couples
Simple Steps to Manage Your Money Together
Kat Sanford | The Abundance Alchemist | Financial Wellness Coach
April 10, 2023
Money can be a stressful subject, so it comes as no surprise that lots of couples fight about it. In fact, a survey by Orion says that:
42% of U.S. adults said they have disagreements about money with their partners, and 27% said it happened weekly or monthly.
That's almost half of the couples that disagree about money. That means one out of two couples is fighting about money. Yikes! If it's not your neighbors it could be YOU. That's discouraging.
The good news is that with the right budgeting strategies, you can navigate your finances as a team and build a stronger, more secure future together.
Today I'm here to give you HOPE and share 10 essential budgeting tips for couples. Whether you're just starting out or you've been together for years, these strategies will help you manage your money more effectively and work towards your shared goals.
Tip 1: Set shared goals.
Before you start budgeting, you must talk about and agree on your long-term financial goals. Do you want to buy a house, start a family, or travel the world together? You can create a budget that reflects your collective aspirations by aligning your priorities and setting shared goals.
Tip 2: Track your spending. To create an effective budget, you need to know where your money is going. Start by tracking your spending for a month or two using a tool like the Every Dollar app. This will give you a clear picture of your income, expenses, and areas where you might be overspending.
Tip 3: Create a budget together. Once you understand your spending habits, it's time to create a budget that reflects your shared goals. Work together to identify your fixed expenses (like rent, utilities, and debt payments) and discretionary spending (like dining out or entertainment). Allocate your income accordingly, making sure to prioritize your shared goals.
If you are new to budgeting, I recommend a written budget like the Quick Start Budget created by the Ramsey Solutions team. (www.ramseysolutions.com).
CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF THE QUICKSTART BUDGET
Tip 4: Make room for individual spending. While it's important to prioritize your shared goals, it's also essential to make room for personal purchases. Set aside a portion of your budget to spend on whatever you like without feeling guilty or judged.
For example, maybe you want to go to lunch with friends and he wants to play golf once a month (or vice versa). Decide what the monthly budget is for your individual "fun" money and create room for it in the budget.
Tip 5: Use cash envelopes. If you need help sticking to your budget, try using cash envelopes. This involves allocating cash for different categories (like groceries or entertainment) and only spending what's in the envelope. It's a simple but effective way to stay on track and avoid overspending.
Tip 6: Automate your savings. Set up automatic savings contributions to ensure you're consistently progressing towards your shared goals. This could be a percentage of your income or a fixed dollar amount. By automating your savings, you'll be less likely to spend money that should be going toward your future.
Tip 7: Communicate regularly. Effective budgeting requires open and honest communication. Make sure you check in regularly to discuss your progress, identify any challenges, and make adjustments as needed.
Tip 8: Plan for unexpected expenses. No matter how well you budget, unexpected expenses are bound to arise. Ensure you have an emergency fund to cover any unexpected costs, and consider purchasing insurance (like health or car insurance) to protect against major financial setbacks.
Tip 9: Review and adjust your budget regularly. Your budget is flexible. Please review and adjust it regularly based on your changing needs and circumstances. Be sure you check in often on your progress toward your goals and make any necessary adjustments.
Tip 10: Celebrate your successes. Finally, remember to celebrate your accomplishments! Whether it's paying off debt, reaching a savings goal, or simply sticking to your budget for a month, take the time to acknowledge your progress and feel proud of your accomplishments.
Managing your money as a couple can be challenging, but it's also an opportunity to work together as a team toward your shared goals and build a stronger relationship.
In conclusion, I will leave you with a quote by Dave Ramsey,