Creating your first monthly budget as a just wedded couple can easily end up in unnecessary fights and arguments. But if you can see through those arguments, you’ll discover the importance of planning together and helping each other achieve your financial goals.
Why do You Really Need a Budget as Newlyweds
Below are some reasons why you need a budget as just wedded couples. Budgeting will help you to achieve the following;
- To help direct where your money goes, how it is spent.
- To know where, when and what you spend money on monthly.
- To help you know how much you saved within the month.
- To plan ahead.
Benefits of Budgeting to Newlyweds
After knowing the reasons why you need a monthly budget in your home, it is also important for you to know its benefits. Some benefits of budgeting together include;
- It helps you connect with each other in a way you’d never imagine because both of you have agreed on how to spend your finances.
- Your communication becomes more open to each other on financial issues, and other life issues and also intimacy is strengthened.
- It will help to keep your marriage on the same page.
- It helps you to work together as a team by setting financial goals and achieving them together.
- It helps to build a strong foundation for marriage by identifying areas where you’re not using money wisely.
- It helps to reduce the chances of having money fights by becoming financially disciplined.
Budgeting Tips for Just wedded Couples
- Make sure you practice empathetic listening when creating a monthly budget together to help understand each other’s needs.
- You should learn to compromise sometimes especially when you know that what you need is less important at that point in time.
- Remember you both have an equal say in the things that you are budgeting for. So you should be open to each other.
- Before taking a decision, you should first put yourself in the other person’s shoes to know why they believe that an item is really needed by them or why you both should put so much money on something.
A Sample Budget List of Monthly Expenses for a Newlywed
Below is a sample list of a newlywed budget.
- House rent
- Food: This will include food stuff, provision, and snacks that will last for a month.
- Utilities: This will include electricity bills, telephone recharge.
- Health: It will include health insurance, gym, food supplements, prescriptions, etc.
- Investments, savings and retirement accounts.
- Entertainment: Recharging of cable.
- Debt: Payments of any debt incurred before or during the time of marriage.
- Transportation: Car maintenance, generator maintenance, filling of gas.
- Education: School fees, books, and other school supplies.
- Miscellaneous: Gifts for an event within the month, and other unexpected events that can happen within the month.
How to Create a Monthly Budget as Newlyweds in 7 Simple Steps
Step 1: Sit down with open minds and discuss with your spouse the reasons why you need a monthly budget as a family and the benefits of budgeting.
Step 2: Identify all your sources of income for the month. Whether it is your full-time job, part-time job, donations, side hustle, etc. and write down the total income you’re expecting for the month. This is very essential.
Step 3: Make a list of the things you will both need to pay for or bought within the month in order of importance that is listing from the most important things to the least important ones. Make sure you include savings. Then you can write down what to do with any extra cash, for example, additional savings for a vacation, school expenses, pay off loans, etc. And if you realize that your expenses are more than your income for the month, then you need to cut off the less important stuffs and re-budget. You can also start a side business to help you earn more money.
Step 4: You have to agree or compromise on all the items in your budget. At this point, you’ll need patience and effective communication skills as your first monthly budget will probably be the longest and hardest.
Step 5: If you decide to have personal spending money, take it out in cash so that you don’t overspend. During your first budget, it is helpful to use cash as it will help you stay within your budget and you’ll also see and feel the money leaving as you’re spending. You know you’re done spending for the month when the cash envelope is empty.
Step 6: You should understand that your budget won’t always be perfect and it will always change from month to month. You can also have a visual aid or a budgeting app to help you monitor your progress throughout the month. I’ll suggest you go over all your spending at the end of every week to know if you’re following the budget properly.
Step 7: Budgeting for the next month, you can use the same budget plan and adjust the necessary areas. You might need one or column less or one or more new columns for the next month’s budget.
How to Stick to Your Monthly Budget?
Sometimes creating a monthly budget is more easy than sticking to it. Here is how you can learn to stick to your monthly budget.
- Discuss and write down your budget five days to the start date for your next month budget. Ensure your budget starts from the first day of each month.
- Pick a day to review your budget together weekly. It will help you track how you are spending your money and if necessary make adjustments.
- Commit yourselves to do a budget for at least 3 months to help you get used to the system.
Should you combine your accounts?
You may not necessarily combine your accounts, but you can open a joint account where you put all the money you have planned to spend for the month. Even if you don’t combine accounts or operate a joint account where you keep money against budgeting, your marriage will still benefit from budgeting.
Some Budgeting Tools
Below are some free and paid budgeting softwares and apps that can help you create a monthly budget.
- Budget plus
- You need a budget
- Microsoft money plus sunset deluxe
- Toshi Finance
- Ace money lite.