How to budget as a couple? Couples who are newlyweds usually have a lot to figure out on their own, especially when it comes to finances. One common mistake that many new couples make is thinking they can skimp on living expenses and plan their wedding spending in the future. The reality is that the only way to keep your household budget under control is to live by it. Here are some tips for couples who want to keep living expenses within their means:
- 1 Budgeting and living on a tight budget require discipline
- 1.1 Have an emergency fund
- 1.2 Know your financial goals and be realistic
- 1.3 Budgeting software can help with your goals
- 1.4 Get rid of your outdated spending habits
Budgeting and living on a tight budget require discipline
Write down all of your spending, both for necessities and for non-essentials. This will help you see where you are spending too much money. Next, look at your income to see what your realistic income and expenditure limits are. Once you have determined these limits, set a goal of earning X amount of dollars in a month. Then you can budget accordingly.
Have an emergency fund
You and your spouse should have an emergency savings account that is separate from your joint funds. This will allow you to have a source of funds in case of any unexpected event, such as a car wreck, a medical emergency or other crisis situation. Having separate funds will make budgeting easier because there will be a clear line of what you are saving for.
Know your financial goals and be realistic
Budgeting goals include having enough money for the first month of the marriage, buying a first home, paying for college education and/or vacation, and saving for retirement. The first month of the budget is the “baby” month, so be sure to put your most immediate and long term goals aside. Baby monthly expenses will include your mortgage payment, utilities, groceries, personal care products, entertainment expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.
Budgeting software can help with your goals
Use budgeting software to set categories for your major goals. Make sure to have a category for each of the three major areas: Personal, Marriage and Family, and Business. Your priorities should line up with your plans. By sticking with your priorities in the beginning, you’ll be able to successfully plan your finances.
Get rid of your outdated spending habits
As you set your budget, get rid of your old spending habits. If you love going out to dinner every week but have a tight budget, ask family members to chip in for you once or twice a month. Another option is setting up a spending plan with credit cards or debit cards and deduct money from each account on a weekly basis.
Include your personal and marriage financial goals
If you want to achieve a better marriage or accomplish a higher level of success in your personal life, make sure to include these things in your budget. Things like rent payment, household bills, credit card debt, mortgage, and college expenses are important aspects of your personal and marriage financial goals. Include everything that affects your daily life. Don’t just look at your total income; also consider your expenses.
Include your net income when calculating your monthly income
The more money that comes into your bank account, the more comfortable you will feel. This will increase your financial goals. Remember, the more money you have coming in, the more comfortable you will feel because you know that you can make ends meet. Remember, don’t spend more than you make!
Be realistic when creating and maintaining your budget
Remember, you may have had a great year financially, but if you don’t have any savings and are living from paycheck to paycheck, you are really living paycheck to paycheck. This can lead to financial problems down the road. To get started creating and maintaining your budget, start with the household essentials like rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. You can adjust your budget as your money increases.
Keep track of your spending
As you begin budgeting, write down your expenses for every category on a weekly basis. For example, your shopping list might include grocery items, gasoline, household items, etc. After every week, prioritize your shopping list and make sure that you are shopping only for the necessities. As you become more accustomed to budgeting, you will be able to eliminate the non-essentials and focus more on the essentials.
Learn to save for emergencies
It is always better to plan for unexpected expenses. One way to do this is to set aside money each week that you can use to pay the electric bill or car repair. Using budgeting software is a great way to learn how to save for these types of emergencies.