How to make an achievable budget with your partner
3. Find a system to stay on the same wavelength
Is your spending plan under control? Awesome. Now you just need an easy way to stay on top of things together. Financial writer Carrie Smith Nicholson talks about how far she and her husband have come to get on the same page.
“One area of budgeting that the hubs and I found difficult was being able to manage two people using debit cards from the same bank account,” Nicholson said. “I always had to ask him what a certain expense was used for or if he had received the receipt. It made him frustrating and boring on a daily basis.
So how did they find a way to ease their frustration?
“To streamline things, we decided to use the same credit card and have a budget meeting every Monday,” she said. “We now go through the expenses together, categorize them correctly, and make a payment for this week’s credit card balance. “
It worked so well for Nicholson and her husband that when she couldn’t do much after having Lasik surgery, her husband was able to manage the finances for both of them.
“In the month I had eye surgery, Ryan was able to take charge of the budget tasks and everything went well,” she said. “We have a designated credit card for all of our household expenses and we no longer have major problems with day-to-day transactions.”
4. Try a budget app for couples
I loved Nicholson’s idea of staying on the same page with her husband in their budget, but wondered if they had found any help in the tech.
“We both use Mint and download it to each of our phones so we can both see the budget categories,” Nicholson said. “It helps us stay on the same page every week.”
If you and your partner are already glued to your phones, why not use it to your advantage? Budget apps for couples can be a great tool to help you out. If you use a budget app and add all of your credit cards and bank accounts, you can track your spending together on any app. But if you’re looking for a budgeting app so that couples can really dig together, Mint and YNAB (You Need a Budget) are two of the most popular budgeting apps.
Remember: life goes through the seasons
So with all of this advice, why has it taken my husband and I years to get on the same page and commit to budgeting for couples? Because it took us so long to realize that if life unfolds seasonally, so do finances.
You see, we met in our late twenties, an age at which we used to manage our finances on our own with no one else to meet or compromise with. It turned out to be an unexpected challenge. I was rigid in my money practices, and he was rigid in his.
But as we grew up together, life’s natural changes helped us see with a more flexible focus. I stopped worrying so much that I was earning less than him, because when he started his own business, I was able to help him. And when he realized that I was meeting him in the midst of simple things like budgeting tactics, he met me in kind.
As you and your partner grow together, remember that the situation you find yourself in today may not be where you will be 10 years from now. So if you are not sure if you are earning less, understand that the situation could change. And if your partner wants to support you, don’t feel guilty because you might have the opportunity to support him later.
If you have different financial goals or ideas on how to create a budget plan, keep talking about them. It will become easier to compromise the longer you are together if you have open, honest, and frequent conversations about it. Sometimes it just takes a while to come up with new ideas. But keep communicating and working as a team, and you’ll find your ideal budget.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on StudentLoanHero.com and has been syndicated by MediaFeed.org