Going from single and making a budget to a couple, making a budget can be very hard. You have to take two different personalities, two different backgrounds with money and two different budgeting ideas and mold them into one. This can be very intimidating. It can be tough to let go and compromise. The goal is to find what is going to work for you both as a couple. Budgeting and saving is a crucial aspect of our lives. We need to make sure that we not only have the things that we need but that we have the money saved away for the future. There are a few things you should discuss before merging your bank accounts.
Do It Together
One of the biggest mistakes is having one person be in charge. This will end up with the person not in charge feeling as if they are below the other. Having to ask permission from a partner to make purchases is not how anyone wants to live. If you both set the monthly budget together, then both will know when money available and when it is not. This will make it easier for those times when there isn’t money in the budget since you made the decisions together. Neither person will have more say in purchases than the other.
Debt is the opposite of saving, and you need to have the same expectations. Talk together about existing debt and make a plan on what will be the best way to get rid of it. Also, it would be best if you discussed what things you are willing to go into debt for are and what are things you do not believe should be put on a credit card.
Month to Month
Every month has different activities, and at times, things pop up. Some months will have more expenditures than others; this is normal. We all know that in December it is always hard to save with holiday gifts and parties. Plan how much you have to spend and where it will be going before you start spending. This will make it easier to stay in budget and still make sure you are saving something each month no matter how busy a month you have.
Saving money must be a priority for both people. In some couples, one may hold saving money as a higher priority than the other; this could lead to some tension in the relationship. Try setting a goal. Everyone loves reaching a goal. If you have a goal to save a down payment for a new house or car, it could be a lot easier to skimp on other things. Doing this during the month will help so that you can put more money into savings. Then keep going, there is always a reason to save money.
Have the tough conversation now before you put your money together. Also, start the process of eliminating debt and saving as much as you can as a couple. Make money an argument you don’t have to have.