How To Budget As A Couple: 5 Tips For Success
When it comes to budgeting, doing it as a couple in a relationship can not only be stressful but it can cause disagreements too and for this reason, many couples avoid budgeting together entirely. However, budgeting doesn't have to be stressful or turn into a big fight and below are 5 tips to help you budget successfully as a couple.
5 Tips to budget successfully as a couple
1. Plan a monthly money conversation in advance of each month
Having a money conversation with your significant other each month allows you to lay out your money plans and create a budget in advance of every month. Make the conversation fun and relaxing (e.g. cook a nice dinner!) and plan out your bills and expenses that you know are coming up this way your dollars are allocated in advance and you don't have to stress out about not knowing how much your partner is spending because you haven't discussed it.
2. Talk about your long term goals as well
Your money conversations should be just about your monthly budget. Take some time out to talk about your dreams and goals and how you plan to approach them. Want to launch a business? Travel the world? Save a million dollars? These are conversations you should have and start planning together. A good idea is to create specific categories within your budget that includes savings for your long terms goals, not matter how small you start.
3. Talk about your upcoming expenses
It's important to discuss your upcoming expenses together especially the variable ones so no one is surprised when it comes time to pay for them. Does one of you have a major expenditure coming up? A big trip? An item you want to splurge on? Whatever it is, lay it out and include it in your budget.
4. Listen and communicate
Communication is the foundation of success in marriage and in budgeting together as a couple. There will be times where you don't always agree on your money choices but the key to getting past the disagreements is by listening, communicating your own point of view and coming to a common ground or mutual agreement. Remember, you are a team, not rivals.
5. Stick to the plan you both agree on
Once your budget is set, don't deviate from it without first having a conversation with each other about it. Not only will this avoid conflict, it will help you maintain trust with your significant other around your finances. The last thing you want is to get into a big fight or feel disappointed because one of you didn't honor the agreement (i.e. your budget) you both made.
Budgeting as a couple doesn't need to be complicated or stressful. You just need to plan to do it together and keep open lines of communication.
Do you currently budget with your significant other? What do you do to make your budgeting process successful? Share in the comments!
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of Clever Girl Finance and she's passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms