Thursday, August 14, 2008

Newlywed Tip #1: Creating a Budget Part One

While these tips are titled "Newlywed Tips", my hope is that they may be beneficial for you even if you've been married longer - they just may have more relevance for newlyweds.

Why create a budget?

As part of our pre-marital counseling, we were supposed to create a workable budget for after we were married. This has proven to be one of THE most useful things for our marriage. We are, I would say, fairly "average" for Americans our age as far as our income goes. However, by actually categorizing where our money goes, we realized how important it is to stick to our budget.

This helps us in a number of ways. I am, by nature, more of a saver than Javier. The budget therefore helps me feel free to spend more money than I might otherwise. I can see that we have allocated a certain amount each month for eating out, so I don't have to feel guilty when we eat out, or think about what else we could be spending the money on, since those "other things" already have money allocated to them in their respective categories.

For Javier, the budget acts more as a restraint. He is more inclined to spend than I am, so this helps him see how much we have available and how much we have left to spend for the month.

We are still in the process of tweaking our budget until it's just right - we have to make sure we have enough allocated to cover all of the bills and not too much in the less necessary categories. However, the budget enhances our communication and also prevents a lot of stress from constantly having to discuss how to spend our money.

I'll write more on this topic later - but if you'd like to see some excellent budget creation resources, check out this page of the Crown Financial Ministries website.

1 comment:

"J" said...

I love this post and I went to the link! Thanks for the HELPFUL info!!!!! =)