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Budgets, Spouses & Making It Work!

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man and woman at a desk with pen, paper and calculator

Living on a budget isn’t always easy, especially for beginners. Your excel sheet or envelopes are ready to go and it’s time get started, but you can’t seem to get your spouse on board. He loves the idea of saving money and becoming debt free but the idea of planning weekly or monthly just doesn’t sound like fun. How can you make it work? I’m sharing all about money and how my husband and I make a budget work in our marriage. Continue reading to hear our ideas and grab a few simple tips!

man and woman at a desk with pen, paper and calculator

It’s no secret that money fights are the number one cause of divorce! Whether or not times are lean, talking about money can be difficult and being on the same page as your spouse is very important!

I’ve shared with you before that I’ve been on a budget since I was 15. Even though he’d never been on a written budget before we were married, Trent was extremely wise and responsible with his money! After we married we combined our finances and decided we’d be on a written budget together. Since I enjoy the numbers, we decided that I would work the budget each week.

Now, before I share a few tips with you, I must say that Trent and I don’t have this money thing figured out. Like many of you, we have fights discussions about money. God made us both unique so we each have different ideas about how we’d like to spend money!

That being said, here are a few tips that we’ve found to help you make it work when it comes to budgets and spouses!

Agree From The Beginning

Whether you’re setting up a budget for the first time, or revamping the budget that you currently have, it is important that you both agree from the beginning. Like I said before, God made each of us with our own ideas so we’re naturally going to want to spend money in different ways! Take the time to go through each line item in your budget and agree on it. You could even spit shake on it (as Dave Ramsey says) if you’d like!


Don’t Do It Alone

If you are the spouse working the weekly budget, it’s inevitable that unforeseen expenses are going to pop up. Before you “rob Peter to pay Paul,” talk with your spouse and decide together where the money should come from.

There have been plenty of times when this has happened to me. Instead of asking Trent what he thought, I’d stress about where the money was going to come from. When I started including him in the decision making process, he’d quickly have an idea where we could take the money from. It was as if his decision was stress free – because it was!

After I asked for his help I would always wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner and eliminated the unnecessary stress for myself.


man sitting in a chair and woman leaning on the chair while looking at paperwork

Have A Monthly Overview

Much like not doing it alone, every month it is important to let your spouse know what’s going on with your finances. Sit down and have a monthly pow-wow and take a few minutes to look over your finances line item by line item. This allows the spouse that doesn’t work the weekly budget to ask questions and know exactly where you are with your finances.


Have Separate Blow Money

Blow money is just that, cash that you can do whatever you want with! Whether it’s $5 or $500 (ok, that’s a little over the top), I recommend that each spouse have their own blow money.

If Trent wants to spend all of his blow money on fishing gear, I can’t give him a hard time. And, if I want to spend all of my money on massages, he can’t give me a hard time! That’s the beauty of having separate blow money!

Like I said before, we don’t have this money thing figured out, but these tips have helped us!

What’s your tip for staying on the same page financially with your spouse?



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  1. Jacki M
    Jacki M11-05-2013

    We have one take charge but discuss everything. In our home, my husband is in charge of the budget because he is the head of the household, responsible, earns the paycheck and works well with numbers. However, everything outside debt payments (credit cards and cars) we discuss. I know how much is budgeted for each category…and I know if we are nearing the limit. He takes into consideration (and usually spoils me) everything that I have been looking at for the house and kids and factors that into to our monthly budget.

    Most importantly, though, he listens to God and how God says we should spend our money.

    We also have separate free spending accounts but that is more because I like to shop more than he does and this makes me feel more comfortable about knowing that my splurge isn’t going to cut into the rest of the budget (it is a separate account completely).

    We are working on paying off debt and by Jan 2017 we should have everything minus our house and a little student loans paid off. That is all thanks to the hubby!

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson11-05-2013

      Hi Jacki! I love that you and your husband have a system that works for your family, and especially that your husband “spoils you”! (That’s just precious!)

      Good for you for working on paying off your debt! January 2017 will be here before you know it and you’ll be able to scream, “We’re debt free!”

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

    • Tory

      Jacki M,

      Its so encouraging to hear that you trust your husband, specificaly becuase he listens to God and acknoledges Him in his finacial ways. I hope to be in that situation with a husband who trust in God above all one day.

  2. Hilary

    I like this. I think if everyone was more open with their finances everyone would do better. We discuss budget every quarter now that it’s pretty set & working alright… Even though I am the number cruncher, it is great to do it together.

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson01-11-2014

      Glad you like it Hilary! I totally agree with your statement, “if everyone was more open with their finances everyone would do better.”

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  3. Sarah

    In my house, hubs is the saver while I’m the spender. It took me awhile to realize that I was the spender… I will haggle with anyone, any store to make sure what I’m buying is under $20, furniture included and I thought this made me the saver… wrong!

    After 10 yrs of having my hand in the finances, we both realized… it’s not my strong suit. So, it’s his department. I’ll tell him what I “need” to purchase and what I’d “like” to purchase and how much it’ll cost. He’ll tell me what I can spend.

    We’re going on the 4th year of doing this and in those 4 yrs we’ve paid off the house and student loans, we have 1 month left on the last vehicle, and we’re now down to 1 medical bill. If only I had let him have complete control when we married 14 yrs ago… I’m wondering if we’d be millionaires by now. ;)

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson01-14-2014

      I love that you’ve found a system that works for you and your hubby, Sarah! You are killing it with your finances! Congrats on having a paid for house!

      Oh those “if onlys.” I see a bright future for your finances!

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

  4. Sarah Mueller
    Sarah Mueller01-15-2014

    I am definitely the numbers person in our house, but my husband has recently started participating a lot more since we got a budgeting app from YNAB that works on our smart phones. I love it! It saves me so much time since he now enters his own transactions and he can check how much is left in a budget category.

    And like you said, a monthly overview together really helps to get both of us on the same page.

    • Tshanina

      Sarah, that app sounds amazing and I can definitely see how that would be helpful!

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  5. Marissa

    Money is a serious issue for so many marriages, because it is hard to handle in many respects. My husband and I gifted ourselves one Valentine’s Day with Dave Ramsey’s dumping debt class, and have taken a ton of the stress out of money management because of it. I found your article on Salt & Light, and I’m glad I did, it was very well written, and great to read!


    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson01-18-2014

      Hi Marissa! I agree that money is a serious issue in marriages. If we would tackle the issue of money in our marriages, I think it would open up the lines of communication in other areas!

      Thanks for your kind words and for joining the conversation.

  6. Whozat

    I think the suggestion about separate blow money is huge. My partner and I started doing that several years ago, and it relieved a lot of arguments and resentment over one of us spending money on something the other thinks is “dumb.”

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson01-18-2014

      I love hearing what works for other couples! Thanks for sharing Whozat!

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  8. Kristy as Giftie Etcetera
    Kristy as Giftie Etcetera10-18-2015

    Budgeting with my spouse is the hardest thing, ever. He is okay with never spending any money, but he spends too much on big stuff. It’s just really hard.

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson10-19-2015

      I’m sorry it’s a struggle, Kristy!

  9. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family10-18-2015

    These are great tips! They are things that we know, but somehow manage to forget over time.

    • Tshanina Peterson
      Tshanina Peterson10-19-2015

      We can never have too many reminders can we Jamie?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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