Managing your family’s needs means learning to address various financial challenges, including food, utilities, housing and other monthly dues. However, keeping track of all the ever-changing expenses can be challenging, especially for most couples.
If you feel like you still lack the skills to maintain a household budget, don’t feel bad. You are not alone. These days, many couples still operate without a spending plan, and even those who think they’re excellent at budgeting may not be doing as well as they thought.
Discussing money management apps for couples to track their spending is rarely discussed by most married couples. But no matter how you describe your union, communication on primary issues like parenting and finances is crucial in a healthy relationship. With the recent changes due to the pandemic, it’s only practical to figure out a way to live on a budget that works for you and your entire family. So, to make it easier, here are a few tips that you can consider to set up your budget as a married couple.
Quick tips for setting up a family budget
Start formulating your budget
The first step you need to take is to know the best way for couples to manage their money, and that is to track all your expenses and your family’s income. Get all your bills, bank statements and paycheck stubs to understand your financial situation. Doing so will help you keep track of the money coming in and going out. Once you have all the information collected, you can start writing a budget to manage your money.
When you go through your monthly expenses without having a budget, you’re only passing up countless chances to save up for your savings by cutting unnecessary costs. Spending only a few minutes of your time writing a frugal budget can help you save a lot of money later.
Set your financial goals
When you are barely making ends meet every month, saving money can almost seem out of reach. However, setting financial goals is essential, significantly, if you’re raising a family. Whether you’re saving money for your child’s college education or trying to save money for your retirement, creating financial goals is a crucial step in shielding your family’s future.
Aside from your long-term goals, you should also manage your short-term goals. Ensure that you’re up to date with your utility bills and other monthly fees to prevent any late charges. Additionally, you need to think about your regular expenses like those for your baby. Clothes, foods and nappies are only a few of the costs you need to consider each month. To ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money, do your research so you can find the best products.
Manage your debt
Being in debt can often feel overwhelming. But you’ll eventually learn how to manage it as long as you set realistic goals. One way of doing it is by using money management apps that can help you stay on budget every month.
Although you may not immediately pay off all your debts, you can create a practical plan to achieve your financial freedom. Your money management plan will also show where your money goes and how to manage it. It’ll help you prioritise which expenses need to get paid first and which ones you can hold off momentarily.
Cut down your costs
Another excellent money management tip is to trim your costs. Remember that if there’s barely anything left for your savings each month, then it’s probably time to cut your costs. For instance, if dining out tends to consume most of your budget, consider buying items in bulk. You can also carefully plan your meals for the entire week to reduce groceries’ costs.
Another way to reduce your expenses is by evaluating other services and subscriptions that don’t hold much bearing on your everyday life.
Build your savings
Finding ways to build your investment funds in any way possible should be a top priority. Whilst it can sometimes feel tempting to pay down your debt first, building an emergency fund is equally essential. So, try to beef up your savings until you’re able to save at least six months of your expenses.
Reduce your taxes
Taxes is an excellent way to boost your savings. Reducing the amount you need to pay to the government can help you free up money you can use to pay for your other monthly expenses. You can even set aside the money to ensure that you’ll have enough money for unexpected costs.
To reduce your taxes, check if you’re qualified for any deductions. Be sure to declare and claim all deductions possible. Even seemingly small and insignificant things can add up to your savings at the end of the financial year.
Are you responsible for your spouse’s debt?
The court won’t hold you liable for any of your partner’s debt only because of your relationship, even if you’re married. However, you may become responsible to a debt if you signed a loan contract as a guarantor or a joint borrower. Another reason why you may become accountable for your partner’s debt is if you’re a partner in a business or is a director of your family’s company.
How should married couples split their finances?
How should married couples split their finances will always depend on their situations and their agreement. To do it, you will need to approach money as a team. Sit down with your partner and calculate your joint income. Then, discuss and come up with a budget that both of you will agree with and cover your shared expenses. Doing so allows you both to have complete transparency with your financial transactions.
It’s time to get started
Managing finances as a couple can sometimes be tricky, but money management can help get things in order. It’s best to do it as early as possible.
If you need any help with money management, Golden Eggs can assist you. We can give you custom money management solutions that can help you get on track with budgeting and saving. Contact us today.