How in the world can you get on the same page as your hubby when it comes to your family finances? Have you ever desperately asked yourself that question?
You are not alone! In the hundreds of messages I get every month, this is the number one obstacle I see forbidding couples of reaching financial freedom.
One spouse sees the possibilities that setting a budget can open for their family, while the other feels a budget is restrictive and doesn’t allow him/her to live like “an adult.”
Or maybe you have plenty of income and you don’t need a budget? Newsflash! Ask any single independently wealthy individual if they have a budget. Chances are that they do!
The great news is that this roadblock can easily be demolished with compassionate communication and this five step financial unity plan to get on the same page.
FREE PRINTABLE Goal Setting Worksheets for Couples
I will go over how to use this in detail in the second post of this Financial Unity Series, but get a head start by printing out your free Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples now!
In this free workbook I am going to walk you through the steps to…
- Set long term goals individually, based on what you value most in life.
- Find common ground by bringing those individual goals together to build a prioritized goals roadmap.
- Assign financial tasks necessary for achieving each common goal, to use as a base to start building a budget as a united couple.
The Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples is a goal setting workbook uniquely designed to help build the big picture and to help couples get on the same page when it comes to their finances. Showing each spouse that your budget isn’t just about numbers, it’s about creating the life you dream of!
Page one explains how to use each page in the workbook and make sure that you get massive value as you and your spouse plan out your financial future together.
Page two of the workbook get’s each spouse thinking about what you want in life by setting goals separately.
Page three shows how to find common ground and creates ONE blueprint for your combined life goals to help you both get on the same page for your future and have productive conversations about money.
The last page is where you will start brainstorming what financial tasks need to be accomplished in order for each goal to be achieved and assigning each prioritized goal a financial task.
When you and your hubby sit down together and start working through the Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples, you will quickly realized how it makes the entire process of starting a financial conversation easier than ever!
Print off your starter kit now, then follow along with these five steps to get on the same page financially with your hubby!
5 Steps to Get on the Same Page Financially with Your Spouse
Don’t put this off any longer! The sooner you start working together towards financial unity, the faster you will both start achieving your life goals!
Step 1: Communication
I can guarantee 100% that no matter how much time you invest into talking about money with your spouse, it will go nowhere if you do not have a solid foundation of communication.
Life can become busy on it’s own, then throw financial stress on top of that and it is very easy to forget the simple courtesies we need to give each other in our marriage. Especially when it comes to developing effective communication.
So before you and your hubby dive any deeper into this amazing process that will help you get on the same page, first be sure to read 11 Tips to Instantly Increase Your Success When Talking About Money With Your Spouse.
Before your money discussion begins, you need to promise each other that you will follow those 11 rules outlined in the article that will help build a safe environment to talk about money as a loving husband and wife.
Step 2: Set life goals, what do you each want your life to look like together?
In order to find out what you need your money to be doing now, you need to know what you want your money to be doing for you later.
Setting life goals is the perfect way to get the money conversation started because you aren’t directly talking about money quiet yet. It is a non-aggressive approach that will help lower any defensive walls that might already be built.
This step can actually be really exciting to sit down as a couple and plan out what you want your life together to look like.
Step 2A: Life Goals
Each of you will need your own copy of the “Life Goals” page found in your Financial Unity Planner Kit for couples.
To start, you will separately write out all your dreams and goals that you would like to accomplish as individuals, as a family, and as a couple. Break each section down into one year goals, five year goals, and ten year goals.
No peeking!!! This first section of the step is to be done on your own!
In order to make your financial conversation as stress free as possible, I have created a few FREE PRINTABLES for ya! They will make this entire goal setting step incredibly easy and fun for you and your hubby!
The Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples will serve as your roadmap for all future financial decisions. It’s super easy, fill out your name and email below and your worksheets will be sent right to your inbox. Then you two can get started dreaming and planning your future!
Don’t forget to download your free workbook now!
Continuing on with your goal setting…
I want you each to dream big but make sure that you are keeping things realistic! Take your time on this step. It might take you a couple days before you are ready to move on and that is perfect! Put a lot of thought into your goals.
Step 2B: Common Goals
At this point you each should have your own goal lists. Now you are ready to bring your lists together and make a master list of your combined life goals. This is going to be the foundation for all financial decisions you make together in the future.
Take your two Life Goals Worksheets side by side and compare. Where do your goals align? How can they work together? Where can you each compromise? What goals do you both value most? This is where you will work together to find common ground.
Finding common ground and creating ONE blueprint for your combined life goals is going to help you both get on the same page for your future and have productive conversations about money.
On a single copy of the “Common Goals” worksheet, combine those goals that you have found in common. On this page you will write down your common goals goals by category and don’t forget to write down in the far right column, which timeline each goal falls under.
The final step is as a couple to prioritize your goals. Which needs to happen first? Where do you both want to place the most value for your family? In the far left column of each category, number 1-6 in each box, with #1 being the highest priority.
It will quickly become overwhelming if you tried to accomplish all 18 of these goals at one time. The solution is focus. Now take the top three goals of each category and write them in the “Top Three” boxes at the top of the worksheet this time categorized by timeline.
Setting these goals is what can make or break the possibility of your conversation progressing into the more nitty gritty talk about money. It needs to be a loving and balanced discussion between husband and wife with little to no stress attached.
Step 3: Financial Steps for Reaching Your Goals
Now that you and your hubby have been able to get on the same page, this is the sneaky step where you will slowly introduce your spouse to the idea of talking about money, all without shouting the “B word” (Budget)!
I don’t say sneaky in a “behind the back, dishonest” type of way. All I mean is that as a couple, you are going to start creating a budget but with a new perspective. Together you will start taking charge of your money, rather than wondering where it went.
You are now ready for the final page of the Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples. Transfer your top three Common Goals over to your “Financial Action Plan” worksheet. Start brainstorming what financial tasks need to be accomplished in order for each goal to be achieved.
There might be more than one financial task that needs to be completed for each goal. Write them all down.
Some goals might have the same needed financial task. I can not think of a single goal, other than $1,000 emergency fund, that will not need “pay off debt” as the number one MUST DO financial assignment. Unless, of course, you are already debt free.
Examples of financial tasks might be, build emergency fund, save to buy a house, get ahead of bills, start a cash envelope system, plan for retirement, or meal plan. Write down anything related to your money that is needed in order to achieve each goal!
Achieving some goals might be further away than you originally might have thought. DO NOT let that discourage you! If you stop now, before building a budget to help reach each financial task, there is absolutely no way you will reach your goals. Keep going! You can do it! Your family’s financial freedom depends on it!
Completing the assignment of pairing each goal with a financial responsibility WILL get you there. Stay positive, stay motivated (this is a marathon), and stick together!
Step 4: Build a Couple’s Goal Based Budget
By the time you are reaching this step, you and your hubby’s excitement for the future is peaked! You are now realizing what needs to be done in order to attain your goals! But the fact that YOU CAN do it is amazing!
Run with that excitement! In this step it’s time to sit down with your bank account summary, all current debt balances, and your Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples all in hand. Look through your current spending (we use Mint.com to track our spending) to find out where you can cut back and where you need to find extra income.
Don’t let the budget myths deceive you! Building a budget is not there to restrict you, it is there for you to tell your money what to do! It allows you (as a couple) to be incharge!
Without a budget, your money is in control and slips out of your bank account faster than you can count.
With your Financial Action Plan worksheet nearby, start creating your basic budget based off the financial tasks you have written down.
Refer to this article on How to Start a Budget That You Can Actually Stick to. In that article I teach you how to set a budget customized to your family’s specific situation and needs.
The key to get on the same page about your budget is to keep your goals in mind!
Don’t forget! Your family might need to make adjustments to your life in order to reach some of your goals, such as getting a second job, But don’t forget that these are TEMPORARY. You now have a plan in place (your budget) and if you both stick with it, IT WILL WORK and you will reach your goals!
When working on your budget as a couple, you each need to have assignments. Maybe one person is in-charge of paying the bills and the other is in-charge of tracking spending. Write down your assignments to keep each other accountable.
Another tip for getting your spouse on board with budgeting is to make sure you budget for “free spending” and “the fun stuff”!
Free spending can be as little as $5 a month per person, and each spouse gets to use that money on whatever they want. The more financial tasks you cross off your list, the faster that individual free spending money can be increased. Use it as motivation to stay on track!
If you forget to budget in the fun stuff, you will burn out quick! You need a little money every month for date nights and family fun. It might only be $10 to go out to get ice cream once a month. Whatever works with your budget, but the important thing is to make it work even if it’s a small amount.
NEVER leave out date night! If you absolutely have $0 to spend on a date, there are a million ideas on Pinterest for completely free date nights that are still a lot of fun. Plus, I am always sharing our weekly frugal date nights on Instagram! You can trade babysitting with friends to save on costs. But make sure you are doing a weekly date night!
Lastly, don’t forget to revisit your budget as a couple at least once every two weeks! In these budget dates, you will discuss what is working and what’s not. Adjust where needed.
Step 5: Don’t Forget Your Goals
CONGRATULATIONS! You and your spouse have successfully learned to ge on the same page and budget as a couple! Keep going!
I’m going to tell you right now that you will both mess up occasionally. Remember to forgive, repair, and move forward!
When things get tough, make sure that you have physical reminders up around your house of your goals. Pictures of your dream home. Pictures of a romantic vacation. Print simple pictures and tape them up anywhere and everywhere you need the reminder!
These pictures will help you remember why you are working so hard!
Together you have worked so hard to get to this point! You are now on a path with a light at the end of the tunnel! Don’t give up when the journey starts to go up hill. Remember that you are here for each other! Rely on one another!
Thanks for stopping in and I will talk with you soon! Xoxo
Beginners Budgeting Starter Kit
You're almost there! Just let me know where to send your Free Budgeting for Beginners Starter Kit and it will be on it's way over!