Before we look at budgeting, especially within a marriage, we need to first talk about our differences. Don’t you know that opposites attract? Don’t be surprised if you view spending differently than your spouse.
Generally, there are two types of people out there when it comes to money – “natural savers” and “natural spenders”. Let’s break this down:
- Saving money comes rather easily for a natural saver. A natural spender tends to be more fluent with spending money.
- Natural savers are typically frugal. Natural spenders are more lavish.
- Natural savers tend to be numbers-oriented with money. Natural spenders are more emotionally-oriented with their spending.
- Budgeting comes more instinctive and freeing to a natural saver. Meanwhile, budgeting seems highly burdensome and constrictive to a natural spender.
God often shows His sense of humor by bringing these two types of people together in a marriage! So, how do you come together to make a budget that works? By having a “monthly budget meeting”.
Here are some guidelines for the “monthly budget meeting”:
- The “natural saver” should have the budget already made before meeting. Remember, the “natural saver” is the numbers-person and likes this kind of thing. And the “natural spender” doesn’t really care about budgeting.
- The “natural spender” needs to show up. Sounds simple enough, but it’s very important, obviously.
- Have the “natural saver” present the budget to the “natural spender”. If you’re the “natural spender”, look at the budget and make one change. This will give the “natural spender” a chance to get involved in this process. “Natural savers” accept any changes with grace. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
- Keep the meeting short. No need to have hour-long meetings. Let this be a healthy time for you two to get on the same page financially, create goals, and share a common vision for your family.
- Have the “natural saver” monitor the spending throughout the month. If something unexpected comes up during the month, call an emergency “budget meeting”. The same rules apply.
Neither one of these types of people is right or wrong, men or women. And whether you are married or not, it’s important to identify your tendencies to make budgeting more effective.