When you set up your budget with your spouse, it is important to remember that it is a process of give and take. Jenn and I have learned to really value this aspect of budgeting. There will be times that you do not agree on everything in the budget.
Jenn and I usually agree on the budget, but there are times that we disagree. Disagreement is good! If we have not budgeted for clothing for the past 5 months, I probably will not notice. Jenn will notice and ensure that it is added to the budget. She presents Exhibit A – our child has no winter clothes and it is February. That is probably a budget that is not well-prepared. Time to put money into that category.
For some reason, Jenn also believes that if we are going to go on vacation, we need to budget for it in advance. WAY in advance (she prefers at least 4 years – smile!) I am more of the “go on a starvation budget and save for the vacation in the last couple of months prior to its happening” type of person. It has become apparent that $2.43 in the food budget is not enough. Time to put money into the vacation fund.
Give and take is valuable in all areas of life. It’s value is really clear in the process of planning for the family’s spending for the next month. The benefits are clear.
1) You will be on the same page with your spouse
2) Ownership of the spending plan by both you and your spouse
3) Accountability will be established when you agree on the budget together
A budget makes the financial engine run well and delivers you to your future financial goals. Is your financial engine running well?