It Has Been Said Whoever Controls The Marbles Controls The Game, however, I believe this is not true when budgeting for a household. I believe a budget should be made up of love and Selflessness. During my first marriage, my ex-husband controlled the budget which also included my paycheck. Therefore, the things I wanted to buy were always “wants not needs”. Of course, this was one of the many issues with this marriage and it should have been no surprise it ended after less than 3 years.
The one thing I learned was the need for a budget but also the need to be fair. Not using it to control the other person nor to use it to make the other person feel as if their financial contribution did not measure up. There should be a common goal to achieve everyone’s goals and dreams. There should be room to satisfy everyone’s wants and desires whether they contribute $20.00 or $200,000.
Two things I learned were the need for a budget but also the need to be fair.
This may sometimes require compromise and even goals deferred for a time. Above all, I believe everyone should feel as if they have or can have a say in how the money is spent since the budget is for both parties. Even though, one partner may be better equipped or think they are better equipped at handling the finances for the household. Whoever manages the budget must understand this is a huge responsibility. The way I manage our funds will determine if we will sink or swim financially. Are you able to predict, plan and prepare for future expenses or do you allow yourself to fall into a hole filled with late payments and unpaid bills? Only time will tell, either I would grow and learn, or I would be doomed to repeat mistakes never allowing us to get ahead.
I am always reminded of this phrase, to whom much is given, much is required. So, if you assume the role of the controller as I did in my household you will have to be fiscally responsible. Unexpected circumstances will happen, and you need to be prepared. Loss of a job, illness, unexpected expenses can happen at any time. A budget along with monitoring your cash flow and living within or ideally below your means will go a long way towards staying in the black.
Budgeting System Starts With Love And Selflessness
The budgeting system I like to work with is a three-part budgeting system for couples. For singles, it is much easier. You just add a line item for income, expenses, savings, allowance, and entertainment. For couples, I recommend adding all joint expenses to the household budget and a separate budget for each partner. The two personal budgets should have equal or very similar discretionary income. I always review this part of the budget carefully because one partner should not live in poverty while the other prospers. Each should make a conscious effort to support each other financially for the good of the relationship. Remember a budget should be made up of love and Selflessness.
In my opinion, there is no room for selfishness at this point in the relationship. I feel blending finances is one of the strongest bonds you can have, however maintaining separate savings accounts for personal aspirations and goals is healthy for individual growth and personal security. Therefore, I highly recommend this for each person in the relationship.
Finally, I am a huge fan of having savings accounts funded by the household and/or personal incomes for specific goals. Therefore, the household should have its own savings account for household emergencies and I also prefer savings accounts set up for vacation and Christmas. See in this article from Money about the importance of opening a savings account and the types of available accounts. With many banks and credit unions moving primarily to online banking, you now have the option to shop for better interest rates. This gives families a competitive edge when banking, allowing your money to work faster and harder towards your financial goals.
Separate Those Expenses
Here is how we separate expenses…
Joint expenses should include:
Household Credit Card
Personal Expenses should include:
A Budget Of Love And Selflessness
Let’s recap, for a couple you will need a household budget and two personal budgets. For single people, you only need one budget. The goal here is to allocate your income to expenses and set savings and spending goals while maintaining a love for each other and oneself. A budget should always be made up of love and Selflessness.
Read my last blog where I share details for setting up a budget for beginners!
Let’s budget, spend and live!