Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life after the Honeymoon: Finances

"The Dreaded Budget"
Finances and Life after the Honeymoon




 So you are now back from your honeymoon and have been walking on cloud 9. As you start back in the "real world" as a newly married couple you realize that your life has to come back to reality..
I think this is a great point in your marriage (if you haven't already done this) to get your finances in order and talk about a budgeting plan. You are not at a point where you have made tons of mistakes with your money as a married couple. You now have a chance to create good habits with what is now known as y'all s  money..... "Start off on the right foot" so to say!

3 Simple Ways to Keep You on Track:
Communicate
Plan
Review

Looking back there are some things that my husband and I would have done differently. I wish someone would have shared with us what I know now! I hope this post will help you out!
Just as a side note: I would really recommend reading  Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" book or checking out his website.

First off, don't go into debt. Or if you are in debt, do whatever you can to get out and stay out. I wish I would have taken my own advice here as a young married couple: (If you don't have the cash for it, don't buy it! Save up til you have the cash and then go back and get it. If it is gone when you go back to get it then it wasn't meant for you to have.) I know you are all thinking, " she is crazy, there is no way we could get anything then." Well, you will be surprised at what you don't really need or what you don't really want-- when you have to pull cash out for it.  

When we started out we were debts free. Our cars were even paid for and we didn't have a house payment because we were renting an apartment.
So guess what we did? It was the worst thing (looking back) for us but we went and bought two brand new cars within the first 1 1/2 years of marriage... And a house!!  Now, don't get me wrong, we were excited at the time... but later down the road we were wishing we had done things differently.
So let me say, that now, we don't buy things unless we pay cash. We do use our debit card "as cash" but we are very careful with our expenses now.


Second, Plan.Be very wise with your money, and budget well. Keep to the budget!! That is the hardest part...
Be accountable to one another and help each other prepare and maintain a budget. When only one spouse has their hand in control of the "cookie jar", temptation can often cause for the hand to dip in more then its fair share. This can often start out innocently but quickly grow into a problem while the other spouse sits by innocently unaware of the financial burden that is starting.
If you are set on only having one person in control of the budget, that is fine, however it is wise to sit together once every week or so and review the income and expenses and allow for open questions and answers. This will provide that additional step of accountability that is often more then enough to keep the temptation of financial unfaithfulness at bay.
Things will come up when you least expect and it is best to have a savings account set up with enough to get you through a couple of months. Now if you read Dave Ramsey's book: He will tell you that once you have everything paid off you should have set enough aside for 3-6 months of pay in a savings account. So, this is all part of the plan. You need to create a plan for what you will do when times are tough! Because believe me, they will come!

 Third, Review your plans often. During the life of your marriage you will have pay raises, down grades, financially slow times, very prosperous times, you will have things that brake and have to be fixed-- such as a car --, you will start having children, and sometime during your marriage you may go down to one income, and the list goes on... So it is wise to sit down and talk about your budget or financial situation often.
Make changes when necessary and keep your priorities in order..

If you have been married awhile and are wishing that you could get out of this "huge hole you have dug" then you can. It is never to late to start, it might just be a little harder, and take a little longer!

So remember these
3 Simple Ways to Keep You on Track:
Communicate
Plan
Review

If you have any questions then please feel free to e-mail or comment. I will be happy to help direct you where needed.

2 comments:

debevans said...

We are trying to learn how to make a BUDGET and are having trouble with it.

gusandkrysten said...

It is hard to make one from scratch... have you tried using some programs made for budgeting? If you are interested I can send one to your e-mail that works well and is used by alot of people.
Here are a couple to look at online ...
( http://financialplan.about.com/library/n_budget.htm )

(http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/home/index.cfm?fuseaction=dspJustContent&intContentId=3006) With this one: scroll down. there will be 3 form choices.

(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC010233421033.aspx)This one is detailed but you have to download it

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