I’m sure you’ve heard it by now: finance is one of the biggest areas of conflict in a marriage. I’m not a marriage expert, so I cannot attest to whether this is really true or not, but it seems to be a popular concern. One of the best ways to combat financial stress and conflict is to have a clear, written plan devised and agreed upon by both parties. Your budget as newlyweds will depend greatly on your lifestyle, financial situation, and personal tastes, but below you will find a basic outline for creating a successful budget.
Things to Consider.
When planning a budget, you need to map out all the specific expenses you encounter each month (or week, or year etc.) and make a category for it. For example, a budget might include these categories:
-Insurances (Car, Home, Health…)
-Groceries & Household Supplies
Of course, your budget may contain all of these and more, or may contain only a few of the above categories.
A budget for two will only work properly if both people are on board. It’s a good idea to sit down and plan the budget together, talking over different expenses and appropriating the right amount of money for each one. If your total budget exceeds your income, plan together on where you will cut back, or how you will meet the demand for extra money. After you have the budget in place, you may want to always consult the other if you need to deviate from it. This could save a lot of confusion and conflict.
Keeping track of incoming and outgoing money can be confusing and time consuming. Luckily, there are lots of options out there to help minimize the stress and time of doing just that. Consider using a software to help organize your spending, earning and monthly expenses. You can even take advantage of free programs on the internet, such as Mint.com. In the end, this could save you a headache, and even some money.
Stick to it.
The single most important ingredient in making a successful budget is commitment. You can have the most detailed, perfect budget known to man, but it wont do you any good if you don’t take sticking to it seriously. Remind yourself before you go shopping how much you budgeted to spend. Don’t continually buy extra items you didn’t plan on, and if you find you cannot stop doing this you may want to consider adding another category to your budget where you alot a certain amount of money for these random purchases.
Review your budget and learn to stay within it.
With these tips and a determined attitude, you both can create a workable budget for your new family.