Finances are often the cause of many relationship problems, but things can change for the better with a proper monthly budget. For couples, it’s important to work on the finances together to ensure both individuals are on the same page.
1. Talk About the Monthly Budget Together
Communication is the biggest factor in planning a monthly budget as a couple. One person should not take over the role of budgeting completely; it should be a joint effort. Even if your finances offer you a comfortable lifestyle without any stress, involve your partner in all of your major financial decisions.
2. Set Reachable Relationship Goals
Goals can be anything from buying a house or planning to start a family. It’s crucial to set goals that are reachable though. If you or your partner has poor credit or has a lot of debt, it’s probably not realistic to set a goal to buy a house in the next six months. Big financial goals like that should be made with knowledgeable financial advisors. It’s okay to plan big — everyone has dreams — but together as a couple you should make goals that can be met within a reasonable timeframe.
When it comes to the big purchases you can’t avoid (such as replacing a personal work laptop that broke down or needing furniture for a soon-to-arrive baby), consider using financing to your advantage. For example, Crest Financial offers financing to everyone no matter their credit score, and they report your payment history to the credit bureaus, so it could end up giving your credit score a much-needed boost.
3. Control Unnecessary Purchases
Before making purchases, make sure you can actually afford it. You might have the money available in your checking account, but don’t spend anything that is going to negatively affect your finances later in the week. In those cases, it may make sense to break your purchase up into a couple payments so you don’t deplete your savings reserves. This is another instance where the aforementioned Crest might make sense. Everyone has wants, but with a successful budget, it’s all about making sure your needs are met first.
4. Write Everything Down
It is impossible to stick to a specific budget if you don’t write anything down. Once you and your partner can see everything on paper, you’ll both get a better idea of your household finances. However you decide to track your budget is up to you and your partner; it all just depends on your personal preferences. Choose a method that the both of you can understand.
5. Tweak Budget Accordingly
Life changes all the time and certain changes to the monthly budget may be necessary. When you set your budget initially, understand that things can change and it’s okay to tweak things around. Whether you have a baby on the way or you lost your job, customize your budget according to the current situation.
6. Set Personal Goals
Family goals are great, but everyone needs to set a personal goal. Individuality is important in any relationship and it’s perfectly normal to have goals for yourself. Talk to your partner about goals that you want to achieve and work together to ensure both partners can reach their own goals.
7. Discuss the Future
It becomes routine in many relationships to get through each day without giving the future much thought. To grow in any relationship, it helps to have a plan for the future. Talk to your partner about where you’d like to be in the next five, 10, or even 40 years.
Establish communication with your partner about your household finances to plan for the future and to avoid debt. Make sure both of you are on the same page with spending limits and saving money. With big financial decisions, all it takes is a little planning to stay on the same page and improve your imperfect credit.