Couples Budget

If you have ever set down with your spouse with the intent to come up with a financial budget for your life, I don’t have to tell you it is an anxious event.  Anxiety can build for hours or days before the actual event.  We all want what we want and expect our spouse to want the same things.  Or at least we expect to be able to not have to explain ourselves under high intensity lighting and endless interegation!  In the Financial Peace classes we have learned that usually one spouse is a Nerd and one is  Free Spirit.  That explains the anxiety associated with budget discussions.  We come into the discussion with different perspectives.  Not good or bad.  Just different.  While we can tell ourselves all kinds of things to make us think we can come out the “winner” in the discussion or drop hints to our spouse days before the event, the truth is, this is not a win/lose discussion.  As a couple, we are a team so that means we both should win.  It also means that we both have to be willing to give up some things.  I think the real problem is that we initially believe that who ever “wins” the discussion, rules the budget from this point forward.  That kind of thinking sabotages the budget from the get-go and is the primary reason folks don’t stay on budget.  As a couple, we must enter the budget discussion with a keen eye on what is really best for us, the team.  We need to remember that when something important that we want in the budget has to be denied, it shouldn’t be forgotten.  We should put the items in a Want List that is reviewed at EVERY budget discussion.  The Want List should be prioritized regularly and when the time comes to move it to the budget, celebrate a goal accomplished!  This is how budgets become a part of our everyday life and a tool that encourages us to reach our dreams!

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