A Husband's Guide to : Married Money Part 2

Well loyal readers, here we are again...  Money.  It makes the world go round, or is that love?  Hmmm must research that later.  Where was I?  Oh yes, money.  As a couple we all strive to be good with money and sometimes that works out, other times it is a complete disaster.  Two thrifty people together usually works, one plays off the other.  Two spendy (I know it is not a word but I like it) people together is usually a financial disaster but both people are oblivious until it is too late.  But the intermingling of the two is usually where you get all the drama.

The first line of defense to protect yourself from money woes is the dreaded "B" word.  Budget.  I cannot think of the word budget without reflecting back to ages 12 - 18.  Every year in January, my father would bring my mother, brother, and me into the office to review the family budget for that year.  He had graphs, tables, charts, and all manor of fancy graphics.  The presentation would take around 30 minutes with a brief Q&A session after. The only question I remember being asked was : "Are we done now?"

Creating a family/couple budget can be a huge help or hindrance depending on how it is done.  With most couples I have found, one person is the bill payer.  This person usually has a good idea as to how much money is available and how much is spoken for with bills, savings, etc.  However this person can sometimes be bad at sharing this information.  That is where the budget comes in.  A single source of record (apologies for the business speak) for all money.  There are of course some caveats to the budget...

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Rules of a Budget

  • Both Parties Should Have Input : You cannot just create a budget and expect it to be followed.  All parties must have their chance to speak up and be heard or else you are not creating a budget, you are creating a decree.
  • The Budget Should Be Easy to Read/Understand : Maybe you have a PhD in Finance or are an excel guru, but keep in mind your audience.  If it takes 17 clicks of the mouse through four tabs to find out how much money is allotted for groceries then you have failed.
  • Track Your Results in Small Increments : Once you create your budget at the end of each month you should sit down with your spouse and go over the results.  Did you stay in budget?  Did you go over?  If so, where? 
  • Reward Good Money Management : I suggest creating a small buffer of cash at the end of each month, and if you stay in budget you should get to spend that small buffer on a nice dinner out or a small gift for each other.  Little rewards help keep you both on the same team and working for a tangible goal.
It seems so simple when I type it.  Just a friendly little post on a budget.  But in truth the Budget is a challenge.  You probably aren't going to get it right the first time, second time, or even the third.  Then even when you do get it right, life is going to creep in and blow it out of the water with unexpected medical bills, car repairs, and holidays.  The real key, as with anything, is to keep working at it.  Hell, with my wife in school our budget has been blown up more times then I can count, but we keep working at it.

Create a corner stone in your marriage around money.  It is definitely not the easiest topic to broach but a couple that is strong financially has more time and energy to devote to other activities.


0 Response to "A Husband's Guide to : Married Money Part 2"

Post a Comment

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes | Converted by BloggerTheme