Why budgeting can be one of the best things for your marriage
Today is the last Thursday of April, time to update you with our house mortgage payoff status! In March, we were here:
We were able to take two chunks of our debt off in the month of April, which brought us to here:
Budgeting is one of the best things Mr. Bigtime and I have done for our marriage. I’ll admit it, at first I thought it meant that getting on a budget would mean that I would never be able to buy what I wanted, and would feel very limited. I was so wrong! It’s actually one of the most liberating things we have ever done, because our money is doing more for us now then it ever has. Our favorite application we use to budget is called YNAB or You Need A Budget. We have monthly budget meetings where we perform the following steps:
1. Calculate the amount earned that month: We use a month’s worth of income as a buffer between this month and next month. This means that we are always living off last month’s pay and no longer living from paycheck to paycheck. For example, for our budget meeting in a few days we would total the amount earned between the two of us for this month, April, add it up and that would be our starting number for our budget for next month. As an example, Let’s say that $7,000 is our combined total amount to budget for next month.That would be our starting YNAB buffer for May.
2. Always start the budget by doing the necessary categories first: Rent/mortgage, water, electricity, gas and food are some examples of the necessities in your budget. That way you know all the basic things are covered. Let’s say that all of this calculated to be about $3500, this leaves us with $3500 left to budget.
3. Calculate the non-surprise yearly expenses and divide it up by 12: Why are things like Christmas and property taxes such a surprise every year when we know they are coming? Make it an easy, manageable expense by dividing up by 12 and budgeting for it throughout the entire year! Other things would include: insurance, house maintenance and repairs, car registration and maintenance, etc.
4. What are you saving for or trying to pay off?: For us, it’s the house, therefore after all the major expenses are covered we take a look at our goal for paying off the house this month and throw a big chunk at the debt depending on how much money we have left. Maybe you are saving for a major vacation, down payment for a house or maybe even a party? Budget appropriately with the difference you have in your budget at this time.
5. Take a look at the calendar!: What do you have going on next month? Wedding? Birthdays? Out of town? Budget appropriately for what’s coming up so that you don’t go red, or under-budget in any given category. My. Bigtime and I both have a category called His and Hers recreation, and that is an equal amount of money that we both get to spend as we please 😉 Definitely one of the best things about the budget!
6. Keep going until you have used every dollar in your budget: Even if that means allotting some of the money to your retirement or savings, every dollar needs to be accounted for so you end up with zero at the end of the month 😉 This equals hardly any money fights because the two of you because you have already made decisions about how the money will be spent and way more hugs and kisses and working together!