Today I am so excited to have a guest post from Kelly! Budgeting is so important, but it's not always easy to do by yourself, let alone budget as a team! Here are some great tips from Kelly for tackling your budget goals!
A budget is a great way to track progress on your financial goals, pay down any debt, save money and give more. I like the Dave Ramsey quote that says “You’ve got to tell your money what to do or it will leave.” I'd rather have a plan than wonder where our money went! Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." My husband Sean and I consider this verse as we work our budget.
We have been on a budget since the beginning of our marriage. I believe it takes two to budget and wanted to share tips on how to tackle the budgeting goal together. We’ve done this and are blessed to be debt free while living on a tight budget.
Prayer is the best way to bring your hearts together and include the Lord in your financial goals and budget. We prayed very specifically as we began our budgeting journey. Ask God to reveal His plans for your family and how you should manage the portion He's given you. If (or when!) things get frustrating or stressful, it's time to stop and pray again! It's a good thing to occasionally take a break, pray and then try again to work on the budget together.
Set Short and Long Term Goals
It’s important to discuss and even write down your long and short term goals. A monthly budget is a plan to keep you on track. However, you need to know what you want to keep track of! Do you want to pay down debt or start an emergency fund? Are you plans to save for a house or work toward living on 1 income? Really talk about (and pray over!) the goals for your home.
Each spouse needs to be on board and it's worth the time and discussion to get to that point. A budget is hard to track if both parties are not working toward the same goals. Try and have an open mind to each other as you prayerfully set your goals.
Write Your Budget
Take your time and write the budget together. We use an excel spreadsheet but paper works great too. Pull copies of all your bills so that you can decide what you plan to budget each month on power, water, phone and even gas and food. We talked about and gave ourselves an amount to spend in each category. There is not really a right or wrong answer on this. You have to just decide how much you think is reasonable and try it.
We had to tweak ours in the first few months to make the budget more accurate based on what we spent or tried to save. Each spouse will have an opinion and I’d suggest to “give and take” in different areas because a budget is simply a plan and two heads are better than one. There are times whether either the husband or wife will need to give in and times where they will need to push a specific issue.
Try and be quick to give grace. Budgets can be tough to follow sometimes. Also, there is often a spender and a saver in relationships and at times one spouse or the other will “fail” in the other’s eyes. I just encourage you to really give grace. We all mess up and make mistakes. The goal is to have a successful budget for your home rather than keep score on who adheres to it best. So try to to be understanding and quick to forgive on your budget journey. I promise it will be worth the effort and appreciated by your spouse.
Creating and operating on your budget together helps with unity in your marriage and finances. The Bible says "the two become one flesh" and working together in this area has been so beneficial for us. We've been able to save more, give more and be debt free because of our budget. Sean and I are thankful for God's help and guidance in the area of budgeting and finances in our home.
Bio:Kelly is a Christ follower, blessed wife, and a lover of all things home. She blogs over atKelly Cox At Homeabout her journey at home and passion for debt-free living. She hopes to encourage others in that goal, while sharing tips on how to manage and enjoy all things that make up HOME! You can follow Kelly on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter!
Thanks for sharing Kelly!!