Newlyweds are the most likely to set up a budgeting plan. This is especially true when they begin the adventure of saving for a house and then eventually purchasing one. But budgeting is something we can benefit from no matter how long we have been married.
Lately my husband and I have come to realize that we need to get back onto a budget. Since I work as a freelance writer my work is kind of like feast or famine. I have my really good months where we can spend a little extra on things like going out to dinner or buying fun items. But then we have months where suddenly things get a little tight.
Since my income can’t be consistently relied upon like his, we have to come up with a strategy that allows us to budget wisely.
First, it’s important to know where we stand with our finances. I am almost embarrassed to admit this but only three months ago did I finally sign up for our bank’s online system. Up until then, which is about 19 years of being married; I knew nothing about our checking account and bills.
I guess that makes it much easier to not really give much thought to money when you really don’t know where it is coming from and where it is going. It has been eye-opening for me to have access to our finances and see what we pay each month.
Once you know where you stand with your finances then you can come up with a list of monthly expenses. These are household expenses such as utilities, telephone bills, cable, medical bills, and so on.
Then you need to set up a budget for things like groceries, gas, and other needs. This is a good time to plan out a budget instead of just shopping on a whim.
Once you have your budget for the needs then you can budget for wants. Giving each other fun money to spend weekly is a good idea. Then you know how much you have to spend and won’t be so quick to buy things. You will think through your purchases a little more carefully.
It is never too late to set up a budget, so if you are ready to make some financial changes this year you should start here.