Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The most important part of this step in the process is the words “Our Budget.”
If two people are involved with the money, then both should take a role in managing it.
Without two people working towards a common goal, everything falls apart.
Accountability and Responsibility Of Your Finances
Healthy financial habits, including a simple budget, are essential in every relationship, especially since money is Canada’s number one reason for divorce.
Perhaps you’re saving up for something special like a wedding or a holiday together, and you want to save as much money as possible; a budget is ideal.
A budget is critical for everyone at all stages of their lives, even during retirement when money needs to be stretched further.
When both Mrs. CBB and I would watch television shows such as Til Debt Do Us Part, Judge Judy, or Divorce Court, we noticed three things about individuals involved in financial disputes.
- Only one person took care of the financial responsibilities.
- They don’t use a budget, no mention of it, or think they do by running numbers in their head.
- There is no organization, accountability, or communication in relationships.
When we married, Mrs. CBB and I were already on the same page regarding finances, and we still are today.
I remember when we would sit and cut coupons to save a few dollars and knew that we would be okay because we could handle the good with the bad.
Some couples would never price match, use coupons, or flip through the flyers to find the best deals to save money.
Unsurprisingly, most marriages end in divorce court because of money matters.
It’s one of the top reasons for divorce, next to infidelity.
Family finances take trust, personal responsibility, and teamwork, which is the premise of this blog post.
If you’re not married, holding yourself accountable week after week is also crucial to your budgeting success.
You need to set your financial goals together and work on achieving them together.
Our Budget Our Responsibilities
When it comes to our budget, we share the tasks involved, such as;
- Adding receipts to our monthly budget spreadsheet.
- Creating our shopping list, matching coupons, updating our grocery apps,
- Reviewing and filing the bills for the year.
- Paying the bills as they are not all auto-debited from our bank accounts.
- Updating the budget sheet weekly and again at the end of the month (she does the receipt checking, and I do the budget charts)
- Tracking our investments is a task we do together online by reviewing how our assets did over a month.
- Tracking our bank accounts, which used to be separate, but we’ve since combined them after finding out what could happen if one of us should die.
Money Is Not One-Sided In A Marriage
It’s essential, and I stress that if you are in a relationship and your money is combined, you both understand how you spend it.
You won’t survive financially when only one person knows what’s happening and the other spends freely or on a permission basis.
Why should the headache be put on one person?
Although we have separate accounts, we also have a joint account with all our savings and lines of credit.
I had to open my account to gain a credit history in Canada.
Update 2019– We’ve since added our names to each bank account we own and all utilities or financial documents, so there is no red tape and probate in the event of death.
Please read about how a widow was left with no money after her husband passed away.
Separate bank accounts can make money management less efficient, so we are leaning towards a complete joint statement but are lazy.
A joint account is much easier and forces each party to be financially responsible since the other will see.
There’s nothing to hide when it comes to a joint account, and when you’re married, it all comes out of the same pot whether you like it or not.
There shouldn’t be any of this “I make more money” or “you pay a percentage of this.”
That’s silly because jealousy in relationships with money is a big no-no.
Financial Task Scheduling
Now we know who does what and when as we have written out a financial update schedule, which allows us to track the tasks that are completed or need to be completed.
For the most part, we sit down twice a month together and go over everything, but there are times when we can’t do this, so the chart comes in handy.
Now that we are parents, time is limited, so we must prioritize financial tasks to do the job efficiently.
It also helps that we post our monthly budget updates on the blog, which holds us accountable to all of you.
Why Does Our Budget Need A Financial Schedule?
Financial scheduling is essential for two reasons;
- To ensure everything gets paid on time and is correct, not everything may be auto-paid, and not every bill payment can be set up that way.
- So you both know what is going on with your finances, and there are no surprises, especially if one of you were to become ill or pass away.
If one of you died tomorrow and only one of you took care of the finances, the other would have no idea where to begin.
This could make for a very stressful situation on top of losing a significant other.
Consider these two questions
- Do you know where all the essential documents are kept and what they are?
- Do you know where all the money goes in the budget?
I leave you today in hopes you will work together as a couple to take charge and make a commitment, not only to your relationship but to your finances!
If you are single, you’re doing all the work, so there is no loss when it comes to who knows what and who does what.
You’ve got it all for yourself!
Discussion: How do you and your spouse or partner balance budget responsibilities?
If you are single or not budgeting with another, how do you keep yourself accountable to your budget? Leave me a comment below.
Follow The Mini Budgeting Series
Related Posts: Below are the Budgeting Series Steps 1 to 7, just in case you’ve landed on Step 6 first and would like to read them all, which I suggest.
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 1– Gathering All the information
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 2– Categories
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 7- Balancing Our Budget