Budgeting For Couples: 4 Super Easy Steps For Success!

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The idea of budgeting for couples sounds terrifying to most of us. The idea of being able to talk about money and not fight can be sound almost as whimsical as a Disney fairytale. Or at least that is what we thought for the first 25 years of our marriage. 

Then we found the key to creating a successful home budget that does not include fighting!

If you and your spouse are anything like Rob and me, we will do anything to prevent a fight. Our number one way to control stress is to attempt to avoid it altogether.  Yep, if we think something will be stressful, we just don’t talk about it.

In fact, we avoided talking about money for years. The side effect of not talking about money was not talking about our future and our dreams

With complete desperation, we started to apply the following approach to our money talks. 

The outcome was shocking even to us! We learned how to talk about money and not fight. (For the most part 😉 )

After being married for 26 years, Rob and I are proof that you can teach old dogs new tricks!

Not only did we learn how to talk about money, we learned how to work together to master our personal budget together.  

Budgeting for Couples – Marriage and Money

Since money is how we support our lives, and it connects everything we do, it is easy to see how talking about money can be stressful.

Just know, if you struggle with the old money talk, you are not alone!

MagnifyMoney, a Lending Tree company performed a poll in 2017 of 500 divorced individuals in their Divorce and Debt Survey. Overall, 21% stated that money was the root of their divorce

As the income level went up, the percentage went up as well. For those earning $100,000 or more, 33% of the participants indicated money was the reason for their divorce.

When it comes to the struggles of talking about money, know that you are not alone.

Mastering the money talk is tricky. 

The thing is, if you do not talk about money, you will not be able to turn your dreams into your reality.

For Rob and I, we had that aha moment and realized that we could master this conversation when we heard Dave Ramsey say, “Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.

It was that moment that we realized that if we wanted more from our future, we were going to have to change how we looked at the money. We were going to have to undergo an attitude overhaul.

We were going to have to accept that money is not the problem and accept that if we managed our money, our world would be full of possibilities rather than problems.

>> Get inspired with more debt pay off stories from people just like you!

Get your free printable budget + goal planner

To help you out with managing your budget, Rob and I have come up with our Free Printable Kickass Budget + Goal Planner. This is a free tool designed to help you set goals, keep track of your money and build your dream future.

Budgeting for Couples:  4 Easy Steps to Help You Talk About Money and Not Fight

If you are ready to get your finances in order and improve your relationship with your partner and money, then these steps are sure to help you. 

For Rob and I, our success started when we started thinking of each other when it came to our personal finances.

Once we started thinking about each other, we started seeing how bright our future could actually be.  Thinking about each other is a critical step in creating a budget. 

When you think of each other in this process, you determine your “why.” You know, the reason you want to get your finances in order. By making your “why” about your dreams, and your spouse’s dreams, you will find your joint dreams and the courage to overcome any obstacles as they arise.

If you do not come to terms with “why” you need a budget, it will end up being a point of contention and resentment.

Remember that this budgeting for couples process will be a complete failure if one of you is viewing the budget as a means to control your spouse’s spending. 

To be successful at budgeting, you and your spouse need to see the freedom that budgeting will provide both of you.

You see, a budget is not a bad thing. A budget is a way that you and your partner can start funding your dreams. 

Without a budget, mindless spending takes place. All that a budget will do is provide your money a purpose!

Step #1 – Don’t Be Afraid to Take the First Step

The first thing you have to realize is that one of you is going to have to take the first step. If you can get in the right mindset, this can be you!

Realize that success will require both of you to come together. Remember that neither one of you is perfect! The past failures in your finances must be just that: the past.

If you are to build a stronger relationship that can withstand talking about money, you must realize the role that you play in your relationship when it comes to money.

You are going to have to get over yourself and accept your role in your relationship and finances.  

Think of all those things that make your relationship strong. Be honest with yourself.

Do not look at your budget as a way to control your better-half and think of how strong your relationship will be without money stress.

Control tactics never work out well for anyone.

Step #2 – Dream of Your Bigger, Brighter Future

Now, take a pen and paper and start writing down where you want to be financially and why. 

Break your list down into the next six months, one year from now, five years from now, and so on.

  • Six months from today, we will have all our credit card debt paid so that we never have to worry about paying credit card interest again.
  • Eight months from now, we will own our car outright so that we can stop working for a car loan.
  • One year from today, we will have all of our debt paid off except for our home. Paying off all our debt will put us in will allow us to chase our dream of owning a tiki bar on the beach in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
  • Four years following paying off all our debt, we will have a hugely successful tiki bar and over $100,000 in savings and investments.

Allow your self to dream! 

Make sure that your list includes these key elements…

  • Identify your want
  • Be specific with your why
  • Know when you want to accomplish the dream by
  • Pencil out ideas on how you will get there

Guess what, you just turned a dream into a goal!

Step #3 – Identify How Your Dreams Align With Your Partners

Now that you have lined out all of your dreams, attempt to do the same exercise for your partner. Once you lay out what you think your partner’s greatest dreams are, map out how your goals align with the hopes and dreams of your partner.

  • Maybe your spouse hates their job, yet they stay at that job because it pays the bills. 
  • Or maybe it is all of the crazy long workdays that are being put in every week just to keep the household afloat.
  • Or maybe, just maybe, your husband’s biggest dream is to have a tiki bar in Waikoloa, Hawaii. 

The crazy thing is that in all of the money talk avoidance, talks about dreams of the future shine through. The problem is that they do not have an action plan.

Without an action plan, a specific goal, those dreams stay that – dreams!

So often, the reason that we do not have an action plan for our dreams is that we have no clue on how to come up with enough money to make those dreams a reality.

Think about what you can do to help your partner’s dreams come true and write them down. 

  • Identify your spouse wants
  • Be specific with why you think they want it
  • Identify when they would like to see this dream come true
  • Pencil out ideas on what you can do to help their dreams become realities

It is by thinking of your spouse that will help you to get into the right mindset to talk about money.

Step #4 – Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Yes, I just quoted Dr. Seuss in an article about money and marriage.

Oh, the places you will go!

The thing that you need to start doing, as of right this moment, is start seeing all of the possibilities around you. Life is full 

If you can see the opportunities available, you will be able to inspire your partner to dream again too. You will dream together. 

When you dream together, magical shit happens.

  1. Your relationship will flow in harmony. 
  2. Goals will be set and accomplished.
  3. Your money issues will become a thing of the past.

How is all this magical stuff going to happen? You two are going to set up a budget!

Your budget is your action plan!

By setting up a budget, you will identify:

  1. Your true income
  2. Your actual expenses
  3. Areas of wasted money

Once you dig into your finances, you will quickly learn about your spending habits. Knowing how you spend mone will allow you to make small changes. These small changes will turn your dreams into goals, and your goals will become your reality!

Whether it is paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for your future, your budget is that tool that can make that happen.

>>Step by step instructions on setting up a budget – it is super easy!!\

Get your free printable budget + goal planner

To help you out with managing your budget, Rob and I have come up with our Free Printable Kickass Budget + Goal Planner. This is a free tool designed to help you set goals, keep track of your money and build your dream future.

Creating your first budget together

To help you get started, we have put together a great kit to help you get started. Our Free Budget + Goal Planner will help you and your partner set up your first home budget with our goal-oriented worksheets.

Our budget binder is a great place to start a healthy dialog to make a successful home budget.

It is a fill in the blank system that allows you to start the conversation, print as many worksheets as you need, and develop a budget that you can stick with.

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