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Tips for Budgeting as a Couple
You may think that budgeting as a couple is a recipe for disaster. After all, many marriage problems stem from money issues. However, not budgeting your money as a couple is an even bigger recipe for disaster. You want to budget as a couple so that you’re both on the same page. No one is blaming the other one for spending too much or not doing this or that. You’re learning and spending together. Let’s take a closer look at some tips for budgeting as a couple.
Track Your Expenses Together
First things first. Each person should write down what they spend for at least one month. This means everything – even a cup of coffee. This will allow you both to see where the money is being spent. The important thing is to not be judgmental. Agree in the beginning that you’re not going to judge each other, but will work together to determine where the money could be better spent.
Compare Expenses to Income
Once you have tracked your expenses, you want to compare what’s going out each month to the amount of money coming in. If you find that more money is being spent than is being made, there’s a problem. This means that you’re usually using credit cards for unnecessary purchases. Even if you have more income than expenses, you may still find ways that you’re wasting money.
Talk About Things You’d Both Love to Have
If you never seem to have money for a vacation or for larger purchases, talk about what you’d like to have. For example, you both might want to take a vacation. Think about how much that would cost and then set a date. Once you have a date in mind, determine how much you need to save each pay period to meet that goal.
Discuss Ways to Cut Unneeded Expenses
Everyone has unneeded expenses. It might be a large satellite package or magazine subscriptions. With that said, what you think is unneeded and what your partner thinks is unneeded may be completely different. This means you’ll need to find ways to compromise. For example, you might agree to give up manicures if he switches to a video game rental company instead of buying new games each week.
Look for Ways to Save Money
Last, but not least, look for ways to save money. There are things that you need, but you may be spending more than necessary. For example, you may need car insurance, but find that another company charges much less. Another example is the amount of money spent on entertainment. Instead of renting movies each week, why not get a Netflix subscription instead?
This doesn’t have to be a fight. There are ways to budget as a couple that won’t cause an argument. You just have to approach the subject carefully and never make your partner feel as though you’re judging them.