You may have heard this before. The number one issue that couples fight about isn’t sex, kids, or the in-laws. The big issue? MOOOOOOLA! BACON! CABBAGE! GREENBACKS! In other words – HOW ARE WE PAYING THE BILLS? We were surprised to learn this was the top issue of conflict.
We are leaving the stressful month of April which includes annual tax filing and school vacation. This can be a difficult time for marriages and families. One, many people have to pay to prepare their taxes. Two, many people have to pay taxes on top of what they have already paid throughout the year. And let’s face it – there is a never a good time to have to pay taxes! Three, vacation spending can add to the financial anxiety.
As is the case with most couples, one spouse manages the money and the other spouse tends to spend the money. Sometimes, one spouse won’t event talk about, think about, or breathe a word about money.
So let’s say you both approach money from different perspectives. And let’s say it’s a problem – you are spending more money than you are making. Credit card debt is rising. Home equity line is increasing (guilty). You and your spouse aren’t seeing eye to eye.
First order of business – a budget! Below is our basic budget template. It will get things down on paper so you can figure out where you need to reduce and how you can get back on track.
We are one of the more fortunate couples because we both have very similar financial values. We have had other financial difficulties, however, and we don’t talk about money nearly enough as we should. We should go through the budget more together. We should talk about what we need to do and what priorities to set.
Our lives have been consumed mostly by OTHER problems: ex-spouses and blending a family with very different kids who have 3 different homes between them – with very different lifestyles. We thank God that we have managed this issue without deep conflict.
So let’s make 2019 the year to be more open with our spouses about money and budgeting. Not only might we save some money – we’ll also save some heartache!
Anyone looking for a good financial resource we strongly recommend visiting DaveRamsey.com. Check out his great radio show and even read his book The Total Money Makeover. You won’t regret it and can find it for under 20 bucks!