When you think of the word BUDGETING, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
If you’re like most people, you probably say: “It’s a pain” or “It’s not for me”, and you run away from anyone who brings it up!
Here’s the thing though, what most people don’t understand is that a budget is just another way to say a spending plan, or a plan for how you want to spend your money. Now, I don’t know about you – but I LOVE spending money. I can’t think of much that’s more fun than planning how I’m going to spend it.
But, aside from that, there are some very distinct connections between budgeting and quality of life. Whether you’re a saver or a spender, getting on a spending plan will not only get you and your partner on the same page, but it will help you get what you want out of life.
Here are some insights into how setting up a budget or a spending plan will improve your life.
Budgeting Will Improve Your Marriage or Relationships
Typically, when you’re a saver, you’re more likely to want to get on a spending plan, so it’s not as much of an issue for you. Your bigger worries are about the spender in your relationship. So much frustration comes with having to worry about what they are spending on and how it affects the overall family finances.
For the spenders, you don’t think there’s a problem at all and you can’t understand why your partner or spouse is constantly nagging you.
No matter which side you’re on, without a spending plan or budget, you’re experiencing some level of stress and frustration. If you didn’t know already, money arguments are the leading cause of divorces. Establishing a budget or spending plan that you can both agree to and live with will create a much more calm, stable, and cohesive home.
Budgeting Will Improve Your Sanity
Money ties into almost every aspect of our lives, our social life, our home life, our kids, our education, etc. Money touches everything. That’s why, unless you get intentional about getting that part of your life organized, it’s going to cause a lot of tension in all areas of your life.
Once you have a spending plan or budget set in place, you will be able to release so much stress and tension.
Are you sold on setting up a budget or spending plan? Good! That was my goal. So, what can you do now? Let’s keep going!
Start talking to your partner or spouse and get on the same page.
If you and your partner have joint accounts, you can’t set up a budget and stick to it if you’re not on the same page. You have to both be on board with budgeting. The first step for this is beginning to have super open and honest conversations about what is actually happening with your finances.
You’ll need to identify exactly what is coming in and what is going out. Then, you need to make a commitment to each other and to your budget.
Get some assistance from an outside source to help you plan a family budget.
It’s okay to not be able to do it on your own. It’s actually really admirable if you recognize that you need help and you’re open to asking for that assistance.
Maybe you’ve tried different types of budgeting and quit because they just didn’t work for you. Or maybe you really want to get started but you are so intimidated by spreadsheets and budgeting apps. That is okay! There is a budgeting style that will work perfectly for you. You just might need help finding it and getting started.
Now that you know you’re ready to get a budget set up, it’s time to take action. Lucky for you, I can help with that! Let’s set a time for us to chat about how we can get you in control of your finances!
Do you use cash envelopes? Or do you know someone who does? Or maybe, like me, you’ve tried it and hated it!
Cash envelopes are a really good tool for some people, but not me. I’m here to tell you about why I don’t like them and what I do instead to keep my finances organized and how I manage it all.
Spoiler alert: my system is easier and much more simple!
Who are Cash Envelopes Good For?
Cash envelopes are a great option for people who really need to have that control. These are people who don’t want to be tempted to overspend on things.
It’s also great for people who need the visual of seeing that a particular envelope is empty and knowing that you’re done with that for the week or month.
Why I Don’t Like Using Cash Envelopes.
Using cash envelopes can be a lot and it can get overwhelming and confusing. You have to have all of these envelopes and all this cash on you at all times. You have envelopes for groceries, eating out, paying bills. If you don’t want to keep the cash on you at all times, you can leave your envelopes at home. But, if you leave them at home, when you’re out and about, you could end up needing it but you won’t have access to that particular envelope at that time. That’s a little inconvenient.
It can also be a bit dangerous to keep that much money on you. What if you lose it or it’s stolen?
Additionally, it takes more time. You have to go to the bank and take out a specific amount of cash. You might want specific dollar denominations so you need to have the teller take care of that for you. Then you have to take all of that cash and divide it into all of the envelopes. It’s a completely manual process and it’s time consuming.
Cash envelopes can also be tricky if you have more than one family member who needs to spend from the same envelope. How will you handle that? Will you both take money from the envelope or will one person take the envelope and the other take some money? What if you end up not having the right amount of money? This process can just be a bit inconvenient.
What I Use Instead.
My family uses a quick and simple app called, YNAB. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and it’s personal budgeting software available for Windows, Mac, and iOS. What I love about YNAB is that it’s super simple for me to divide and budget our funds into different categories. Then my husband and I can see what we have left to spend by simply looking at the app on our phone.
In the app, we set categories for all of our monthly expenses. When you add your budgeted amount to each category, it is automatically deducted from our monthly total. This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s really so quick and easy. Each month, it only takes me a matter of seconds to update our budgeted amount for each category, as opposed to all of the time it would take with cash envelopes.
Best yet, it updates instantly on all connected devices so my husband and I can both see, at all times, exactly how much money we have left in each category.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of a way to budget that is different from using cash envelopes and you can see if, maybe, this is a system that you would prefer. Let me know, which system has worked for you in the past or which system you think would work best for you and your family.
Do you like the idea of having access to your budget on an app on your phone at all times? I’d love to offer you a done-for-you/done-with-you family budget program! One where I will hand deliver a fully set up and organized YNAB budget plan based on your flow. I’ll work side-by-side with you to develop a routine and process to keep you on top of your family finances once and for all. Schedule a free 15 min call with me! Find out if we’d be a good fit and how I can help make it happen for you!
Did you ever start budgeting, just to end up too overwhelmed and then quit? Don’t feel bad if this is you, it’s so common! But that doesn’t have to be your story.
When my husband and I were first married, we found ourselves quickly buried in debt. Budgeting helped us to get out of over 120K in debt. But it took a lot of trial and error. I’m hoping that some of you will be able to learn from the missteps we made at the beginning.
If you are thinking about getting started with budgeting or if you’ve started before and quit, I want you to be successful from the start this time! Check out the top reasons people quit budgeting just after they start. You’ll be able to see the challenges and face them head on.
Here are the top 3 reasons people start budgeting but then end up quitting:
You just don’t know where to start.
You’ve heard all of these ways that other people are successfully budgeting, like cash envelopes, zero based budgeting, apps, and spreadsheets. You’re hearing it all but it’s overwhelming and it’s making you freak out. You just can’t figure out where to start.
There’s a lot of information out there to sift through and it absolutely is overwhelming. It’s hard to know what is the right system for you and your family. Because of the information overload, many people try and quit, or worse yet, they don’t even start.
You don’t have a solid foundation set up.
Many people who have the best intentions and really want to have a solid successful budget just don’t have the foundation in place to get started and stick to it. Before you even start budgeting, you need to get into the right mindset. Ask yourself why you want to budget. To be successful, you really have to know that piece. If you don’t have a clearly defined “why” your budget will continue to be low priority.
You start with a tool, process, or system that doesn’t work for you.
So many families start budgeting but they get started using the wrong tool, process, or system for their family or household. Obviously there are tons of different ways you can budget successfully but not every way is going to work for every family.
Before starting, it’s important to really consider the different options and what will work best for how your family operates. Make the best choice for your family, but also remain flexible and open minded. That way, if the system you chose to start with doesn’t work out for you, you can seamlessly move to a better fitting system.
What’s worked for my family:
The system that my husband and I have used to manage our household finances since 2013, when we got ourselves out of debt (and kept ourselves out of debt for all these years), is a system called YNAB. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and it’s personal budgeting software available for Windows, Mac, and iOS.
YNAB is a system but it has helped us to create a routine and process for us and our household that works really very well. I would LOVE to show you how to use it as well.
If you are overwhelmed and you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get your household finances on track with a plan, we should chat.
Do you like the idea of a done for you/done with you family budget program? One where I will hand deliver a fully set up and organized YNAB budget plan based on your flow. I’ll work side-by-side with you to develop a routine and process to keep you on top of your family finances once and for all. Schedule a free 15 min call with me! Find out if we’d be a good fit and how I can help make it happen for you!
It doesn’t really surprise me when I meet people who don’t budget. I’ve been at it for so long and it’s become such a major part of my life that it’s rare I go a day without thinking about budgeting. But, I wasn’t always like that.
At one point in my life, I was one-half of a newly married couple that was 100K in debt! Deciding to set and stick to a firm budget changed our lives, our relationship, and our future.
If you haven’t yet started budgeting, I’d suggest giving it a shot – especially if you are in one of the following groups!
Budgeting is important for young adults as they begin to navigate life on their own. They’ll be faced with new expenses like student loan payments and possibly rent for the first time.
For many, this is the stage of life where either positive or negative money habits will begin to form. If positive habits form in early adulthood, those habits are likely to remain throughout their lives.
Young adults may begin planning for larger expenses like a wedding, purchasing a first home or car. These are all expenses that are much easier to navigate when budgeted for.
Newly Married Couples
A budget is really helpful for newly married couples because they may be merging bank accounts, spending habits, and even debt for the first time. You could have a situation where one of the partners was a budgeter prior to the coupling and the other wasn’t, where neither has ever followed a budget, or where both are dedicated budgeters.
A newly married couple may be paying off large bills from a wedding and/or honeymoon. They may be considering purchasing a new “Forever” home.
They are at a high risk of falling into poor spending habits as they may now have a newly combined income and the freedom and desire to eat out often, travel freely, and shop at will.
It is especially important to learn budgeting as a newly married couple begins to consider growing their family.
It is beyond necessary for every family to have a budget. Families need to know how much money is coming in and going out each month. When a couple adds kids to the mix, the spending and needs expand. Without a clear picture of what is going where, things can get sticky really fast.
The more people in the family and depending on the ages of the kids, the possibility for unexpected expenses increase.
Additionally, kids are expensive. People don’t just say that to be funny, it’s true! Have you seen the prices for organized sports and summer camps? These are often expenses you’ll need to plan for far in advance.
Other large expenses families need to budget for – travel. The cost of traveling exponentially increases (especially by plane) the more people you add to the family. Your weekly grocery bill will also explode with both an infant (formula and diapers) and teenagers (they eat allllll the food, seriously).
Using budgeting strategies to prepare for these things in advance will keep your family protected in the event of a crisis.
Single adults can also greatly benefit from a set budget. Oftentimes, single adults find themselves supporting themselves as well as dependent children on one income. There may also be a mortgage and car payment to consider.
For a single adult supporting a family on one income, an unexpected crisis can be completely devastating. Having a budget where you regularly add to your savings could be a true life saver.
Even kids should be learning about budgeting! I know they might seem young but I promise you, it will be worth it. The earlier you begin to teach your kids the value of money, the better set up they’ll be in their adult life.
Since my kids were 4 and 6 years old, I’ve had them use piggy banks to start teaching them the concept of earning and saving their money to pay for things. Now that they are 9 and 11, I’m working on introducing the concept of budgeting with them.⠀
I’ve created a great system for us and you can check it out here. I’m sure it will evolve over time but for now, they are learning the basics of what I want them to learn and practice as adults.⠀
When kids learn budgeting strategies at an early age, they will bring those habits with them into adulthood.
I’m guessing you’ve gathered that it’s important for EVERYONE to learn budgeting. If you are looking for assistance in setting up your family budget, I’m here for you! Let’s chat about 1:1 coaching and I’ll help you set up a systems and routines that will work for your unique family.⠀
In many families, all of the finances, bill paying, and budgeting fall squarely on the shoulders of one family member. I definitely understand that usually one person takes the lead on finances. But it is still so important for so many reasons that all members of the family are involved in money discussions and decisions.
Here are 3 reasons to involve your whole family in budgeting:
Both Spouses Should be in the Know
In any couple, there is usually one person who takes the lead with finances and one person who is happy to hand it all over. It is important that the spouse who is ready to wash their hands of the finances doesn’t completely turn a blind eye. They need to stay in the know!
One very simple, and easy to understand reason both spouses need to know what is going on with your family budget and finances is in case of an emergency. If, god forbid, the budgeter in the family becomes incapacitated for any reason, the last thing you are going to want to spend your time doing is sifting through financial records you likely don’t even understand.
To keep both spouses aware of what’s going on in the household financially, we suggest making time to meet and discuss finances. Have your “Money Meeting” minimally, once a month. If possible, I’d even suggest doing it once a week. As your kids get older, have them join in, too.
It is definitely okay for one spouse to manage the budget. But the other should be 100% aware of what is going on and have complete access to all financial documents and materials.
Overall, I think both spouses should be in the know about the finances, whether one or the other physically manages it.
Teach Your Kids Valuable Skills at an Early Age
Looping your kids in on your budget is a good way to get the kids learning what it takes to run a household at an early age. This is a lesson they won’t ever forget.
I totally understand the desire to hide weakness or difficulties from our kids. Of course, we want to shelter our kids from any unnecessary stress and allow them to be kids for as long as possible. But, they should also enter adulthood with a realistic idea of how finances work.
This is why we recommend speaking openly about money, costs of different things, and bills in front of and with your kids. We also recommend including your kids in spending decisions starting at a young age, and inviting them to your money meetings as soon as they are old enough to grasp what is going on.
Since our kids were 4 and 6 years old, we’ve had them use piggy banks to start teaching them the concept of earning and saving their money to pay for things. Now that they are 9 and 11, we’ve been working on introducing the concept of budgeting to them.⠀
Kids that grow up in a home where money is discussed openly and honestly, become more conscious and responsible with their own spending and expenses.
One day, your future daughter or son-in-law will be thanking you for raising such a money conscious child.
What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?
This might be the simplest reason of all to get the whole family involved in budgeting. Ready for it… why not? What is the big deal? As far as I can see, there is no downside to getting the whole family involved in budgeting. It brings partners closer together, eliminates placing blame, makes everyone aware, and helps develop responsibility in kids.
Budgeting is not something to be feared or hidden. If you have family members who avoid budgeting, it’s likely a sign that they NEED to be budgeting. If you make budgeting a big scary thing, it will feel like a big scary thing. In reality, a good budget is actually pretty simple and easy to follow once you take the steps to put one in place.
Make your budget fun and speak about it openly – your whole family will rally together and really bond over budgeting. It might sound crazy, but trust me, it’s true – just look at my family!
If you are looking for assistance in setting up your family budget, I’m here for you! Let’s chat about 1:1 coaching. I’ll help you set up systems and routines that will work for your unique family. You can find out more about my family budgeting services here!