Today’s post comes from a reader of mine who is a financial advisor by trade but had to declare bankruptcy soon after he got married because of careless decisions he made. Andy now lives a debt-free life with his wife and children!
His story is inspiring but even more so inspiring is that unlike most couples they fought through those dark times together as a couple! They addressed the hard questions of both peoples spending issues and then made a plan! This is what sharing life and doing finances together is all about!
Andy is a freelance writer over at Oak View Law Group!
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Don’t Get Sticky!
You or your beloved spouse may overspend religiously, that puts you into a financially sticky situation every month. Like any other couple, you have failed repeatedly to reign in the money problems that crop up from time to time.
If you or your spouse’s financial misgivings encroaching debt into your household make you have sleepless nights, then you’ve got only one way to reclaim your life, and that’s by taking charge of the situation.
How To Follow A Budget With Your Spouse!
Managing your money is the most important financial principle you’ll have to master….not your spouse. To help you and your spouse avoid wasting household dollars and stick to your budget.
You will have to be forthcoming while having an important conversation about money with your spouse. Never beat around the bush, but be direct and have a face to face chat regarding your insecurities about money and what’s wrong with the household budget.
Simply put, you must speak the truth in clear terms and be a patient listener to what your spouse has to say about money. Click To Tweet
Don’t do all the talking. Without your spouse’s support, you won’t be able to manage the budget. Moreover, if you spouse stays in the dark about what’s amiss in the financial arena of the household, he/she will be unable to make the necessary rectifications in the expenditures.
So, the takeaway from here is to have an open discussion about money and create an opportunity for your spouse to come on board and put in a team effort.
It’s granted that you are in awe of your spouse. So, be cordial while discussing money matters with your partner.
Don’t let the monster within you overpower you and turn you into a mean-spirited moron. Keep this in mind no matter how bad your household financial health is.
Rather, in times of intense stress, it’s always best to think more before blurting out any harsh comment at each other.
Etch this popular quote in your mind 'Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.'Click To Tweet
You can’t take your words back and yelling solves nothing.
It’s always easier to play the blame game, especially when you are not the spouse who spends recklessly. Remember though this whole money process is done Together.
Both you and your spouse may resent each other’s spending behavior and label it as ‘unnecessary’. The catch here is to define ‘necessary’ in an unbiased tone. Your budget should cover your family and shouldn’t cause a rift in your marital relation.
(Editors Note: I have a perfect example that helps so many couples in my post Should You Share A Bank Account?)
Another serious factor to consider while you guys fall in line with respect to your household budget is to have realistic expectations.
It shouldn’t be based on whims and fancies. Many times, financial problems arise due to unequal income in the household. If one of you makes more dough every month, then it’s obvious for the lower earning spouse to feel undermined. It’s not an ideal way to manage your household budget or to keep debt away.
Moreover, a higher earning spouse will assume sovereignty over judging how the other spouse is spending and whether or not that’s justifiable. A kind of power struggle may ensue and by being a larger contributor to the household budget, you may consider all the dollars spent as your own.
Not just that, you could believe that you have all the reasons to spend whenever and on whatever you feel like. But, since you want to keep your household budget from breaking, keep your spouse in your stride while driving away debt problems with ease, you need to provide an equal opportunity to your spouse, ignoring his/her paycheck.
When creating a family budget, you should include all the members of the household. It should be a complete entity. Both you and your partner should be on the same page, be it creating a budgeting or following it.
Your Financial management plan rests on full compliance with the rules set for the game of a budget from both of you guys!
For the purpose of caring out the budget, there should be only one leader and the other has to be an ardent follower. This does in no way mean the other has no opinions or decision.
Your spouse should be empowered to feel equal and certainly not deprived. When you and your spouse are at an equilibrium, your budget will work! Financial differences among couples are one of the biggest causes of marital troubles and divorce.
You Both Have To WANT It!
Finally, money is just a commodity – one that’s pretty manageable. To make your household budget work and avoid debt problems, the responsibility rests with you and your spouse. It doesn’t have to consume a ton of your time. Rather, you can manage your budget and debt obligations by taking charge of the situation well before it goes beyond your control.
Question: What ways have you and your spouse managed to get a budget going and not fight?
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