A Few Inspiring Expense-Sharing Ideas for Married Couples

expense-sharing ideas | WEDISTRY

No couple will choose to tackle budgeting and sharing or not sharing expenses the same way. However, if you decide to make plans for your money, having a template or model to get started is helpful.

expense-sharing ideas | WEDISTRY

Why Talking About Money Matters

Money is a challenging issue in marriage for several reasons. Just like we bring our differing perspectives to marriage about life and how to do things, we also bring very different experiences about money. How we budget, whether it’s through an app like Rocket Money or a spreadsheet or do it by hand, we all have developed different ways to manage our expenses. We are also sure to have different levels of financial security simply because it’s extremely rare to have identical backgrounds when it comes to finances and even more so in a marriage because we tend to complement one another.

But no matter how challenging it might be, we have to talk about money as a part of our effort to have a healthy and peaceful marriage. It may take time and work, but with the best strategies, we can achieve our goals of being transparent and productive in our budgeting and financial plan.

More than technique and training, conversations about finances are often derailed because of our emotional feelings about money and the reasons we spend. If it were just a matter of figuring out how much we should budget, that would be one thing. But the reality is that there is a psychology to spending that we must understand. For example, spending out of stress impulsively or out of fear of not having enough will affect our financial outlook.

Naming your emotional approach to money will be helpful throughout your marriage. You don’t need to make it complicated. Just call the emotions you feel when you do things like budgeting, saving, spending, and when money is under or over budget, for example, to start. This exercise will help you understand why you spend the way you do and make any necessary changes. It will also help you better understand what areas you need to focus on more than others. Expenses such as fixed costs like utilities rarely need adjusting. It’s the areas that have to do with convenience and comfort that often provide the most challenges.

We were walking through a park with trails leading into the forests, when we saw this breathtaking coral flower… my sister ran and got it and jumped on her husbands back… right then and there is where is captured this priceless image. | WEDISTRY

Joint Expenses

Know that you have options for sorting out your finances as a couple. Don’t ever feel stuck using one method to understand your financial picture successfully. Regarding joint accounts, there are plenty of opinions about whether you should or shouldn’t do it or how or why. One of the reasons you may want to have joint accounts for your expenses is that you are splitting expenses to a certain extent. And to ensure visibility for you and your spouse when seeing your accounts. If you share joint accounts for joint expenses, it helps you to have equal visibility into how your payments are made for those accounts.

A compliment to this approach is to keep separate accounts for your finances and payments that don’t directly involve your spouse. That way, you have some joint responsibility and room to do what you like and need to do individually. This doesn’t mean that you don’t still share what you’re doing with your accounts with your spouse. It just means you have some freedom to make payments, manage your finances, and meet your financial goals individually and as a married couple.

Be sure to discuss your plan’s details well before making a plan and sticking with it.

Budgeting Separately and Together

Another thing to remember is that just because you decide to pay bills one way does not mean you have to track bills the same way. For example, you might have all separate accounts, but you decide to discuss your accounts in detail together. You may have joint accounts, but when it comes to paying bills, you choose to keep more privacy for yourself and how you manage finances. In this scenario, your budget breakdown is more of an overview than a line-by-line analysis. However, the more detail you are willing to review, the better.

Tracking Where Your Money Goes

One of the best methods is the zero-based budget. With this budget, you have already determined your costs beforehand so that money doesn’t go missing in the middle of the month, for example. It works backward to ensure that any expenses you anticipate eventually lead to a 0 line item.

Flag the most common categories that you would like to track better. Typical examples are food and subscriptions. But you can always estimate costs for more trouble areas of your budget. Ensure your budget works on a 0 base to ensure you are not exceeding the limit you set.

Continue to make categories for every area. You’ll learn that your categories will be ever-changing. You will have surprises that you will decide whether it’s worth including in every month’s budget. You will also find that you may not need some areas of your budget permanently, and you can remove them as they are no longer a part of your routine.

Spiritual Inspiration for Money Management

Be encouraged to know that plenty of mentions of money in the bible help us. From tithing principles to giving in other ways that are connected to and do not exclude money, to passages about dealing with the heart and not giving compulsively, for example, there are plenty of foundational solid practices to help us along the journey.

But it can be easy to get to a place where you don’t believe anyone can relate to your circumstances.

author avatar
Aaron Smith
Hi, my name is Aaron! I’m glad to be the founder of Wedistry, a collection of tools and tips to prepare couples for their wedding day. I am currently the manager of the Wedistry Blog and Wedistry for Wedding Parties on the App Store. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you find this content helpful during your wedding planning process.

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