Budgeting can be a difficult task especially when doing it with your spouse. The different ideas on how the money should be spent (at times) lead to uncomfortable conversations/arguments. The spouse that spends the most clearly sticks out and can become defensive. Also, hidden expenses are exposed, which could open a whole can of worms. Not to mention how it could easily affect the trust in the relationship.
According to a survey performed by Ramsey Solutions (Money, Marriage, and Communication); money is one of the leading causes of divorce. The stress of debt and lack of money creates a lot of frustration and embarrassment.
Knowing the stress finance has brought to the couples around us, we decided to take control of our money. For us, it started prior to the study performed by Ramsey Solutions mentioned above. Once we decided to get serious about purchasing our first home back in 2013. We sat down and talked about each of our interests on buying a home. It was a great conversation since it gave us the opportunity to share our thoughts and bring our ideas together to create one of our goals as a couple.
Once we set our goal as a couple (see Setting Goals As A Couple), it was time to execute our plan, and one of the steps that helped us control our finance was budgeting. Up to this day we sit at the end of each month to plan the expenses of the upcoming month. This allow us to hold each other accountable of our giving/offerings, savings and expenses. It forces us to keep each other on check and that we do not go over budget. But, this does not mean we are perfect. There are plenty of times we have spent not accordingly to our budget, especially at the beginning of this process. It took us a good number of months, but we stuck with it and it has become a monthly routine. It is a date for us.
The beauty of budgeting for us is that it not only gives us time to check our finance and our expenses; but, it has allowed us to spend time as a couple. We get to sit down for at least one hour talking to each other and the conversations are not only about money. It might start about finance, but it eventually leads to other topics/goals in mind. Our transparency as a couple has become amazing throughout this budgeting process. This explains why our monthly budgeting meeting lasts over one hour.
In addition, and as mentioned previously, it gives us the opportunity to create long term goals and determine our household necessities. We were amazed on how much money we were spending on unnecessary things that were preventing us from achieving certain goals. It helped us focus and identify those unnecessary expenses. One of those expenses was eating out. Without really noticing we were going out to eat twice a week, covering the entire meal of a party of at least five. Yikes! Not sure how we managed but realizing the amount of money we were throwing away was not fun. Instead of feeling bad about it, we quickly adjusted through our budgeting process and stay focused on our goals.
Even though finance is a scary subject and is one of the leading causes of divorce, we have not let it disrupt our marriage. We hope that you and your spouse take control of your money and not let it interrupt your growth as a couple.
Take control of your growth and of your money by simply budgeting.
Feel free to download the spreadsheet below to start working on your budget. There are some tabs filled to provide a visual of what it looks like once you add your numbers. All you need to do is put in your numbers and everything will automatically update. If you need further assistance with it, just send us a message and we’ll gladly walk you through it.
Stay the course!