When it comes to budgeting, people take vastly different approaches, usually based on what they were taught at home. So it should come as no surprise that when two people start budgeting together, their financial styles often come into conflict.Of course, it’s not only possible to budget as a couple, but a couple’s differing financial viewpoints can also be complementary. If one person insists on building a solid nest egg while the other wants to allow for vacations here and there, the middle ground might be a solid compromise that benefits everyone involved. The main goal is to learn how to make progress together.
What are your goals, individually and as a couple? What can you both agree is the primary goal? Do you need a down payment for a home, or does your emergency fund need to be bolstered? An emergency fund made up of 3 to 6 months' expenses is essential, but so is paying down high-interest debt. You may start with establishing a smaller emergency fund in a secure savings account, then eliminating some of your debt before building your emergency fund further. Or perhaps you each have savings that you want to "re-label" now that you share common goals. The point is to figure out what you're facing, and face it together.
Be sure you are preparing for your future, no matter what other immediate goals you have. You may want to invest in a child's education, but have you first invested in your own retirement? Consider the potential burden to your children should you need to rely heavily on them when they are budgeting for their own families in years to come. Taking care of each other's needs first—or “pay yourself first”—is a time-honored cornerstone of financial prudence.
Budgeting is all about discipline, but it can truly pay off. Keep your big-picture goals in mind as you cut down on some of your negotiable expenses. Compromise with one another so that there isn't just one person having to sacrifice their entertainment, hobbies or other things they enjoy. Communicate regularly to acknowledge your successes and adjust your expectations where needed. When you see your finances improving, you'll recognize your ability to work as a team.As you get closer to your goals, you might consider what kind of return you're getting from the money you're putting away in savings.
Ally Bank offers great rates, a variety of savings products, and convenient customer service. Plus, you can open and fund an account with any amount. Learn more at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.