Friday, January 29, 2010

Couples Budgeting Together

Frugal Chick and I have periodic budget meetings usually one every two or three months. We set up budget amounts for groceries, gas, eating out, CVS (Frugal Chick loves CVS extra bucks, her ability to use CVS extra bucks is so legendary I intend to dedicate a future blog post on the subject.), fun money, Christmas gifts, home projects, insurance, meds and hair cuts. In our meetings we discuss how we will divide up the income we earn between these and other monthly expenses.
I keep the books and reconcile our accounts while Frugal Chick actually makes the purchases. In our meetings she explains to me what purchases cost and why a particular item needs to have more or less budgeted to it. I explain to her how much income we have and what her proposed changes to the expenses will do to the over all budget. We then discuss the option and come up with a revised budget.
We try to work it like a corporation and call ourselves BS Incorporated after our first initials and for other reasons.
We make sure we both understand what is our savings and checking accounts and what our changes will do to the monthly totals before we end our meeting. We always dedicate some money to savings and have an emergency fund and I would suggest these two things to anyone else. This process sounds complex, but after a few meeting the prep time should be less than thirty minutes and the meeting should never go more than about twenty minutes. After twenty minutes one or both partners will have lost interest and minds will wander.
This process keeps us on the same page and working toward the same objective. We both know how much income we bring home and how it is being spent and applied. I feel this process greatly reduces our arguments over money, and could work for any couple that commits to it. If a couple has the same financial information and compromise together to form common financial goals there really will not be much to argue over, financially speaking. As far as, arguing over the remote and laundry your on your own.

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