Let me be honest. I hate doing the budget. I love spending time with my wife. But, I hate doing the budget. So, doing the budget together makes for a bitter-sweet experience. I have my leading lady near, but also an ottoman covered in receipts!!
There are a few reasons why I don't leap for joy when it's time to square up. First, when it comes to financial budgeting, I'm not as organized as my wife. She is "queen spreadsheet.” If not for her, we would have no record of many of the transactions made when planning our wedding. She even had me keep tabs on what I was spending while planning our surprise honeymoon. While she will tell you that she is no budget guru, I will tell you that she keeps us consistent. I am EXTREMELY thankful for an organized wife.
Although it's not my favorite activity, I am learning that there is much value in budgeting as a couple. Here are 4 reasons why couples should create and review their budget together:
1. You're spending time together.
Did you see what I did there? In a go-go, busy-busy, here-and-there society, many couples are pressed to find time to spend together. Planning a weekly, bi weekly, or monthly time to do the budget not only affords you the opportunity to keep tabs on your finances, but it gives you an excuse to be in each other's presence, talk, share, laugh, reconcile, etc. While figuring out why you spent so much money eating out, why not spend time together?
2. You're investing commitment together.
Commitment isn't a one time deposit, it is a lifetime of investment. Assuming you and your spouse plan to be together forever, money will be an integral part of your family forever. While budgeting helps you invest in a secure financial future, budgeting together provides another opportunity for commitment investment.
For many couples, only one person budgets, or "handles the money.” This person isn’t always the one who makes the most money either. Let me be clear, I am not denouncing this approach. I am confident that this approach, if done with clear communication between each other, can be very beneficial. However, budgeting together brings the couple to the table to discuss matters that impact both persons
3. You're compounding individual strengths together.
When budgeting together, each couple decides how they will handle the task. My wife handles the spreadsheet. Operating Excel is her strength, and it is strengthened each time we update our budget. I organize the receipts, communicate the bottom lines, and store them away. With each of us contributing from our strengths, the overall weight of the task decreases.
4. You're saving your marriage together.
No, money is not the glue that keeps couples together. Neither is a nice spreadsheet, organized receipt folder, balanced checkbook, or well-defined budget. However, financial conflict is one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction, distrust, disappointment, and even divorce. Budgeting together is a proactive approach to preventing these toxins from entering your marriage.
I'm still learning the value of budgeting together. I'm still growing to appreciate it as quality time spent investing in lifelong commitment. But God is teaching me that it's a small price to pay when my marriage is at stake. Even as I appeal to you, I am accepting this challenge for the sake of my family, our finances, and our future.
So, when is your next budgeting date? Plan it. Do it. Enjoy it. You'll be richer because of it.