Budgeting for Married Couples: How to Have a Budget Meeting with Your Spouse
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Do you have a monthly budget meeting with your spouse?
If you’re anything like me, it might have never even occurred to you!
Up until recently, I handled all of the monthly budgeting, financial planning, and bill paying completely on my own.
My husband trusted and had faith in me, which is great of course! However, it wasn’t until we looked up and found ourselves over half a million dollars in debt that we decided something had to change.
Before you think I was a wild shopaholic or something….we are both doctors and have a ginormous amount of student loans. On top of that we opened a medical practice, eventually accumulating so much debt that we couldn’t buy groceries!
Yep, we’re broke doctors.
Related Post: This is Why You Can’t Afford to be a Doctor
A little over a year ago, we got a little more intentional with our money. I made a household budget and continued to try to manage our finances on my own.
Whenever something went wrong, or we couldn’t afford to pay a bill, the burden fell 100% on me (in my mind).
I felt like a failure, and thought I was disappointing my husband every day! I would tell him, we couldn’t afford this or that, and I know he was frustrated.
He was working so hard on our practice, and wondering where the heck all our money was going!
I told my husband for Christmas, I just wanted us to go to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University together.
This was so exciting! It was the first time we ever really communicated about money.
One of the first things we did after starting the class, was to sit down together and do a family budget.
Let me tell y’all…that first budget meeting was NOT EASY.
Related Post: Why You Need a Household Budget
We were annoyed at each other. We both had ideas about what to spend money on. Most of all, we were frustrated at our past mistakes that landed us in so much debt.
But we got through it.
Even though our first budget wasn’t perfect, and we didn’t exactly walk away feeling excited, we were finally working together.
Suddenly, we were talking about money all the time (in a good way).
My husband would come home with more ideas on how we could save, and I started really evaluating our needs vs. wants so we could reach our goals together.
As we near the end of another month, it’s time for YOU to get with your spouse and have your first budget meeting!
7 Simple Tips to have a Successful Family Budget Meeting with Your Spouse
Set a Date and Commit
No cutting class! If you are going to have a successful household budget, you need to be meeting regularly with your spouse.
This means meeting at least monthly, and you may even want to try weekly meetings to make adjustments to your budget as you go.
Make a committment to each other that you will never skip the budget meeting.
Make it Fun
If you’re struggling to commit to a monthly budget meeting, maybe you need to make it a little more fun!
It’s hard to make personal finance exciting, especially if money is a source of stress and arguments in your marriage.
Try making it a “date night”. Put the kids to bed, grab some wine and snacks, and enjoy the uninterrupted time to communicate and strengthen your marriage as you budget.
Get Ready to Listen
Take turns leading the budget meeting.
If you are in charge of the meeting, take time to ask your spouse questions, make sure they understand why you have made the budget this way, and allow your spouse to make changes and recommendations.
You both need to be totally on board for the budget to work.
Related Post: How to Make a Budget for Beginners
Be Willing to Compromise
You can’t tell hubby to sell his truck, if you’re not willing to give up your weekly pedicure!
Be ready to work together toward a common goal.
If you are both thinking with the end goal in mind (a budget that works), then you will probably each come up with creative ways to cut down on expenses.
Acknowledge Each Other’s Strengths
My husband actually likes to make our meal plan and do the grocery shopping, so I totally let go and let him have at it!
I’m better at making sure the kids’ activities, clothes, and school projects are on budget and organized.
Figure out what you can do best for the household, and don’t be afraid to assign tasks so that neither of you get overwhelmed.
Celebrate Your Wins
Did you stick to your budget this month? Pay off your smallest debt? Get a raise? Have your best income month ever?!
Celebrate the small wins so that you can stay motivated. Remember that the reason you are doing the budget meetings, is so you can meet goals that will be prosperous for your family finances.
Find frugal and fun ways to celebrate your success!
Related Post: Cheap or Free Date Night Ideas
Dare to Dream
It’s important to always be dreaming and setting goals with your spouse.
Why are you taking the time to do a monthly budget together?
Right now, it might be as simple as trying to eliminate the paycheck to paycheck cycle, but once you have that under control it’s time to dream!
Dare to dream together about the house you will someday buy, the vacations you will take, and the security you will be able to provide your family with, once you are debt free and financially set.
These dreams and goals will keep you going when times get tough.
Related Post: How to Make a Debt Free Vision Board
Let me know how your monthly budget went! Comment below with your biggest budget and marriage struggles!