5 Ways Budgeting Makes You a Better Spouse
Watch any romantic comedy and you’ll see the leading couple put a lot of effort into impressing each other over the course of the movie. For example, he might take ballroom dancing lessons behind her back—and just when she’s about to confront him at his niece’s wedding reception, he holds out his hand and wows the room. Those small acts work almost every time! That’s because sincere effort goes a long way in getting—and keeping—the guy or girl.
Want to bring Hollywood home? Plan a monthly budget with your spouse. Wait! We’re serious. Guys, get ready to win the heart of your girl all over again. And ladies, your man won’t know what hit him.
Having and sticking to a budget will help you be a better spouse. Here’s why:
1. You’ll learn to work in your strengths. When it comes to budgeting, you both bring something to the table. Do you appreciate detail? Does the word budget give you a little thrill? Okay! You should crunch the budget numbers each month. Does your spouse see things with a keen eye? Does he like to ask questions and find the best answer? He’s your researcher for vacation deals, price comparisons, ways to earn extra income and more.
Divvy up the work and give yourselves little jobs along the way to make the big job—spending and saving wisely—much easier. By doing what you do best, you’re more likely to enjoy the process, ease the burden on your spouse, and see one another in the best possible light.
2. You’ll learn to compromise. Even with a solid budget, there’s bound to be bumps along the way. You want a couch and he wants a guitar. She’s a spender and you’re a saver. You’re both excited to take a trip but can’t agree on the length of time or amount of money to spend—never mind agreeing on where you’ll go.
In those moments, fight temptations to ditch the budget. Instead, work through your differences and come to a decision together based on the budget.
3. You’ll learn to trust more. Hopefully you already share a bank account, and now you share a budget. You determine ahead of time how much you’ll spend, how much you’ll save, and where all your money will go. Now it’s up to both of you to stick with the plan. And that takes loads of trust.
When you do what you say you’re going to do with your money, you build trust. And when you mess up and immediately tell your spouse about your mistake, trust skyrockets. You don’t have to worry because you know you have each other’s back—a secure feeling indeed.
4. You’ll learn to get creative. A budget encourages you to say yes to your future dreams and no to things you might want today. And while we all agree that patience pays off, sometimes you just want to “treat yo’self.” Maybe you’re hoping for a special date night, a kitchen makeover, a vehicle upgrade, or a weekend getaway. Or maybe, right now, fun to you sounds like getting out of debt—and fast!
With a little creativity you can use your money to reach your goals and have some fun along the way. Talk with your spouse about how you could save more and spend less, and about how you might earn extra cash on the front end. By considering all your options you become a more resilient couple, ready to face whatever comes your way.
5. You’ll learn to prioritize the important things. With an EveryDollar budget, your aim is zero. By that, we mean you put every dollar in a category so your income minus your expenses leaves not even a penny on the floor. To make this happen, you and your spouse have to be dialed in to your priorities.
You’ll talk through what matters most and learn what things you won’t even remember in a year or two. You might discover that, for your relationship, experiences hold greater value than stuff. Maybe you’ll realize your gym membership—even though it isn’t cheap—wins out over a big clothing budget. Prioritizing your money leads to prioritizing other things, too: your time, your love and one another.