Budgeting is a skill that every individual needs to learn to be financially stable and secure. Creating a budget as a couple is another challenge, even if you already know how to manage your money. Financial issues can be very sensitive for a married couple. To have a healthy relationship and enjoy financial security, it is crucial to pay close attention to your family budget and manage it properly. Much like a personal budget, this is something you need to learn and revisit regularly. With the right approach, you will know how to manage a joint budget with your spouse efficiently and comfortably.
Tips for Creating a Joint Budget
Money is often a difficult topic in a relationship. However, this does not have to be like that, as financial security is a priority for each family. Creating a proper budget and handling it maturely is a way to live your married life without constant quarreling about money. Here are some tips on how to deal with your budget:
- Set your saving goals – one of the most important parts of any budget is your financial objectives. Create a list of all your money-related goals and divide them into groups based on how much time you will require to complete them. Financial goals can be divided into short-, medium-, and long-term categories. Short-term goals usually take from a few months to just a couple of years to achieve. They include your emergency fund, paying for a holiday trip, etc. Medium-term goals can take up to ten years to achieve and usually include buying a house or paying off your student loans. The most popular long-term objective is retirement, and this goal requires the most time and money to achieve.
- Calculate net earnings – to manage your finances, you will need to determine how much money you and your spouse objectively bring home each month. With this amount, you will have to cover all your expenses, from rent or utilities to savings.
- Calculate your essential expenses – one of the most important categories of your regular expenses includes necessities. These are the things you need to pay monthly for rent, utilities, groceries, medicine, etc. All these essentials need to be covered first before you move to recreation and even savings.
- Deduct savings – after paying for essentials, you can deduct savings from the money you have left. You can save up to a set amount of cash every month or a percentage of your salary. This number can be adjusted if you, your spouse, or both have irregular income.
- Invest money – it is recommended to leave some money for investing apart from saving to make your money work. It is simple to invest money online today. You can try an alternative investment fund like Quanloop if you are unsure where to invest money online. If you are a beginner investor, you can start by offering one euro. There are convenient investment plans available as well.
- Divide the rest of the money – after allocating the necessary amount of cash towards all the objectives mentioned above, you are left with money you can spend on anything you want. You can split this amount in half between you and your spouse, or simply put it into a shared account and use it for recreation. This includes buying things you do not actually need and paying for all kinds of entertainment. This money can be used by both spouses individually and together. If both partners agree, it is also possible to allocate more money towards savings to reach your financial goals faster.
- Choose your software – this step is optional, as managing your budget on paper is a classic way that many people still like. However, you can use any of the useful budgeting apps and programs available on the market to make this process much easier. Tracking all of your expenses and earnings is definitely not an easy task, and a dedicated application might be very helpful. In addition, you can potentially set some automatic payments to save up money easily.
Regardless of the approach you end up choosing, communication is crucial in a relationship, especially when it comes to managing your capital. Spend some time creating a thorough budget, and you will only need to revisit it once a month afterward.