The other night I was out with friends and the topic of money came up. The wife began to say that her husband had this new “scheme.” The husband’s response was that this “scheme” is what other people call a budget, and that it is not some revolutionary concept.
The “scheme” was to go to the ATM once a week and get out the budgeted money needed for the week and then spend from that. The couple has a two year old and have more of a need to budget these days with a little one.
While it made for humorous conversation, the thing it got me thinking about was how important it is that both partners are in agreement on the budgeting terms that are established within a couple. In this case it was clear that this “scheme” was more of a joking criticism than any real conflict within the relationship.
However, it can be easy to have a budget become some type of racket that one is pulling on the other. Granted that this is likely in the best interest of both partners well-beings, but it must also feel like it is a partnership where both members contribute to the financial management.
This of course is easier said than done if a couple is trying to be financially prudent and one of the partners doesn’t know how to, or see the value in, sticking to a budget. For this reason I think it is crucial that a couple establish some type of balance in their financial outlooks.
If a couple are on two totally different financial paradigms this is likely to cause strife in the relationship. I do think it is possible to work together to negotiate this balance when a couple might be within range of doing so, i.e. they aren’t the extremes of frugal and shopaholic.
Readers: What have your experiences been around striking a balance in establishing financial protocol within a relationship? We’d love to hear what your views are.