Honestly, you are most likely the one who’s excited about creating a budget and carefully managing your money. Then, you mention it to your spouse and they just groan as usual. What can you do to get on the same page so that you can create a budget with your spouse? Many couples find themselves in this same dilemma every day. Out of the two spouses, one seems to be more fiscally-minded, while the other shows no interest and groans at the idea of having to constantly worry about what they’re actually spending. How in the world will the two of you ever be on the same page? Don’t worry; I’m going to give you a few tips that can help to get you and your spouse on the same course. For more information on how to create a budget with your spouse, see this helpful article.
Set a Goal that you Both Share
When you’re beginning to create a budget with your spouse, don’t lead by saying, “I think it’ll be best to spend less on X.” This type of statement makes the idea of budgeting more of a negative instead of more positive. Instead, begin the conversation with a more positive statement like, “Let’s begin by setting some goals we would like to achieve in the next five to ten years. What are some things that you would like to do?” Then, you’ll be able to have a long discussion about how to create a budget with your spouse. For now, try to not talk about money– just discuss what you see for your future. Here are some suggestions to help get you started:
- Would you like to travel for one month around the world together?
- Would you like to purchase a new house?
- Would you like to pay cash for a new vehicle?
- Would you prefer to put $20,000 into your child’s college fund?
- Would you like to retire at an early age?
It’s important to discuss this plethora of goals that you to create a budget with your spouse. Work on getting on the same page and don’t worry about the dollar amount. Together, you can pinpoint the many visions you have for your future.
Now it’s Time to Add the Dollar Amount
Now that you’ve agreed on your vision and goals to create a budget with your spouse for your future, move onto the idea of money. Be sure to uses realistic estimations such as:
- A 20% down payment on a $400,000 home will be about $80,000.
- That one month trip traveling around the world may cost about $4,000-$10,000.
- If your goal is to pay cash for a new vehicle, then you’ll need about $8,000-$20,000.
- To retire at an early age, you’ll need to max out your 401(k) each year.
Now you’ve reached the point where you have the numbers and the timeframe. Basic division will help understand how much you need to save each month to reach your goal. For example, if you save $80,000 within the next five years, then you would need to save $16,000 each year, or $1,330 each month.
Have a Discussion about Saving
Now you’ve outlined your monthly savings goals. To create a budget with your spouse, it’s time to discuss where you’re going to find this money. Some good ways to find extra money are to cut back on expenses, earn extra money, or combine the two to ensure you’ll hit your monthly savings goals. Since your entire discussion doesn’t revolve around cutting back, you’ll notice that your spouse is more on board. Try to talk about what expense you are willing to trade for another. For instance, you can spend $500 a month on going out to eat, or you can save it to reach your goal of having a down payment for a house in the next five years.
With your current income level, having both things may not be a possibility. So, you’ll both have to decide which option you prefer. Your spouse is more likely to be more receptive if the conversation focuses on trade-offs rather than the sacrifices you’ll have to make. Also, try to work towards the goals that your spouse is the most enthusiastic about.
When trying to create a budget with your spouse, you may come to a standstill. If the two of you cannot decide on which goals to focus on first, then allow your spouse to talk about what their visions are for the future. Pay attention to which goals they mention most often because those goals are the ones that they’ll be the most eager to save for.
For more information about earning more money in order to create a budget with your spouse, see this YouTube video: