When I was single, I was largely irresponsible with money. I would eat out at fast food restaurants between 5 and 6 times per week – sometimes even several times a day. Then it was time to get married, and that changed everything. I realized that in order to start a family off right, I had to get my financial situation under control. My soon-to-be wife also needed to rethink the way she was handling money, so we decided to learn together. It was one of the best journeys we ever decided to take. Since we’ve become married, we’ve paid off all our non-mortgage debt , built a 6 month’s worth of expenses emergency fund , and are paying cash for a college education . How We Accomplished This So what did we change in our finances in order to accomplish these goals? There are several commonsense solutions that will help you stay on the same page with your spouse. Let’s take a look at some of these top ways to improve your finances as a married couple: 1. Have a budget meeting monthly. The very first thing we did as a married couple was have a budget meeting . We reviewed how much money we had coming in, and how much money we thought would be heading out. It wasn’t perfect at first, not at all. We had imperfections in our calculations, and tended to be way too frugal to the point where it was quite ridiculous. But over the next few months we slowly but surely fixed all that, and now we have a pretty solid routine that needs only slight tweaking month to month. I can’t suggest the best allocations for budgeting to you, because your financial situation and lifestyle might widely differ from ours. The key is to start the budget and and not worry about making mistakes. Trust me, mistakes will occur! Just try to learn from your mistakes , and you’ll be fine. 2. Communicate daily about purchases. Having wide open communication about money will help each of you stay on track. Any large purchases need to be communicated beforehand, and smaller purchases can be communicated by way of tracking receipts in your budgeting software. Tip: Some people prefer to set a certain amount of money that they can spend daily. For example, you could agree with your spouse that you aren’t going to spend more than $25 per day unless asking the other person. This can help you keep your budget under control. 3. Learn to lose the battle to win the war. Money fights happen. But they can happen less frequently if you learn to lose the battle in order to win the war. What do I mean by this? If your spouse comes to you and asks for a slight change in the budget, and it’s important to them to do so, you truly want to consider it. Compromise! Don’t fight over a few dollars – besides, at least they are coming to you first about it! The only time you should really create an uproar is if your spouse does something with money that falls outside the rules of your agreed upon budget. You Can Win With Money – Even In Marriage Some people claim that in marriage they lose the ability to make their own financial decisions. No doubt, you do need to learn how to work together with another person when you’re married, but that doesn’t mean you lose all control. In fact, I would argue that the budgeting process within marriage can make your financial position stronger. Consider this Bible verse: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. -Ecclesiastes 4:12a NIV You can win with money with your spouse. You can defend yourselves against financial storms. Work together, stay on the same page, and seek God throughout the entire process! How do you win with money in marriage? Meet us in the comments! Photo by epSos.de Related Articles: Money & Marriage: 7 lessons I have learned so far 21 Financial Questions to Improve Your Marriage How Combining Your Finances Can Improve Your Marriage How to Secretly Spend in Your Marriage Having family budgeting troubles? Cash Flow Planning – FPU Review #3 John Frainee is a personal ﬁnance writer at TheChristianDollar.com . His goal is to provide biblical ﬁnancial principles that encourage people to live healthier lives. Beyond personal ﬁnance, John enjoys spending time with his wife and two crazy cats, playing a competitive game of Monopoly, and reading just about anything he can get his hands on. You can also ﬁnd him on Twitter and Facebook . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
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How Marriage Improved Our Finances