Even if you believe that you’re always on the same page with your partner, there’s a chance that you could end up disagreeing about one very important thing – money. No matter how happy you are in your relationship, it’s still possible to disagree about where you should be saving your cash, and where you can spend it. You might even disagree on what you want to do with your money. One of you might want to spend money on a vacation this year, while the other wants to save towards a house deposit.
The critical thing to remember is that even if you don’t agree on money all the time, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid talking about it just to stop a fight from breaking out. Instead, you need to make sure that you get your spouse on board with your budgeting plan, or that you can at least find a compromise. Here’s how to get started.
Focus on Goals First
For people who like to spend the money that they earn, the concept of budgeting can seem almost soul-sucking. However, if you can connect the idea of saving with the vision of a long-term goal, it’s easier to keep both you and your partner motivated.
With that in mind, sit down with your spouse and talk about what you’d like to achieve in the next five or ten years. Do you want to start a college fund for the kids, pay for a deposit on a new house, or even travel around the world? It’s totally up to you.
Make Budgeting Decisions Together
If you enjoy budgeting, you don’t necessarily have to sit with your spouse and force them to go through every step with you. Sometimes it’s best for the person who feels comfortable with numbers to do the work and organize everything. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get input from your other half. You need to ensure that he or she is comfortable with the decisions you’re making too.
Remember, when you married your partner you joined a team. You need to work together to achieve your goals!
Make Budgeting Meetings More Fun
One of the biggest reasons that people avoid budgeting is that they find the process to be very dull and boring. However, you can add some fun to your financial strategy by scheduling positive things to go alongside your discussion. For instance, maybe you can indulge in some of your favorite treats while you discuss money.
On the other hand, you could try saving a TV show that you both want to watch until after you’ve finished talking about the budget. That gives you something good to look forward to.
Celebrate the Little Wins
It can be difficult to stay motivated in a budget with long-term goals. If you’re saving up for a house deposit, you’re unlikely to have all the money you need within a couple of weeks of saving. For some people, this can make budgeting harder, as it’s difficult for them to see themselves making any progress. With that in mind, look for ways to celebrate the good steps that you and your partner are taking towards your financial targets.
Even if you’ve cut your grocery bill by $20 this month, let your spouse know about it, and show them how much further that gets you towards your goals. Don’t be afraid to pat yourselves on the back for good behavior too.
Be sure that you’re both completely honest with each other about the money you’re spending. No-one wants to let their other half down, but it doesn’t help anyone if you accidentally break the rules of your budget and try to sweep it under the rug. More often than not, actions like these can lead to serious financial problems and more arguments in the long term.
Whether you make a mistake, or your spouse does, the important thing is to make sure that you’re forgiving and understanding. Make sure that you both know it’s okay to fall off the wagon at times as long as you work together to get back on track. You’ll get to wherever you need to be eventually.
Finally, once you’ve started making progress with your budget meetings, make sure that you stick to them. Don’t just start leaving your spouse out of the financial decisions again because you’re tired of hounding them about it, or because you want to avoid a fight.
Sometimes, making a real change requires persistence and determination. Be prepared to fight for your financial freedom.