Does the thought of budgeting make you cringe? If so, you’re not alone. Budgeting can be challenging and extremely time-consuming, yet it’s an important part of your financial plan. Because of this, it’s helpful if you budget with your spouse. If you want to make budgeting more fun, below are some tips to help.
Make it a Date
What do you enjoy doing with your spouse? Do you like taking long hikes in the summer or having pizza and watching a movie on Friday night? No matter what you and your spouse enjoy doing together, try including a budget review.
If you make it light and treat it like a normal date night, you could actually find you enjoy budgeting. Whatever you choose to do, set some time aside and review your monthly and weekly budgets. See if you are on track with your goals and debt repayment. This is the perfect time to track your progress and determine if you need to make any adjustments to your budget.
Play the “Lottery Game”
Can you imagine if you won the lottery? What would you do? This is a great way to have fun with your budget while planning for your goals. By determining what you would do if you won the lottery, you illustrate your financial priorities and where you should be putting your money.
If you and your spouse determine you would like to purchase a second home off the Gulf Coast, this may be a financial priority that you didn’t realize you had. Maybe your goal is to pay for your child’s education or to be able to take care of your parents financially when they’re older. Remember, don’t limit yourself to what you think you can have. Dreaming is what makes it fun.
You never know where this challenge will take you and what you will learn about your spouse. It may also guide you in a different direction and shift some of your budget to other financial priorities.
Develop Positive Financial Habits
You never know how your financial habits may be harming your financial well-being until you dive into your budget. Maybe you and your spouse love going out to dinner 5 times a week. This could be detrimental to your financial goals.
Look for ways you can change these financial habits together. If you enjoy going out to eat, try meal prepping on Sunday’s to help eliminate several nights of eating out during the week. You could even have a cook-off and determine who makes the best meal. Whatever your negative financial habits are, create a way to turn them around for the better.
Get the Kids Involved
If you have children, this could be the perfect time to take them to the playground. Not only will you have some time to evaluate your budget with your spouse but your children will exert some energy. You may need to multitask a little bit, but this could be a great way to do something productive while allowing your children to have fun.
You could also include them in some of your goals, such as planning a summer vacation. Let them help you brainstorm ideas of how they could help the family save money. Giving them a goal that they are excited about may encourage their participation.
Everyone likes a little friendly competition. Adding it to your weekly or monthly budget encourages you and your spouse to pay close attention to what you spend. There are plenty of ways you could add competition to your budget; here are just a few:
- Select a budget category for you and your spouse and see who can save the most money. You could select groceries while your spouse selects gas and car maintenance. The idea is to look for ways to save during that month to lower your bill. The person who saves the most money wins.
- Another way you could compete is to set individual goals. Let’s say you wanted to give up your morning latte and your spouse wants to save an extra $20 a month toward your dream vacation. Whoever accomplishes their goal or surpasses it wins.
- You could also do a money challenge with the entire family. There are plenty of challenges that can help you stick to a budget and reach your financial goals. Doing a money challenge together could also strengthen your relationship, since you are working toward a common goal.
By adding a little competition to this mundane task, you can make budgeting fun with your spouse. After a while, it won’t feel like you are budgeting.
Sometimes working toward a goal can feel monotonous. You may find yourself losing motivation or even giving up. Rewarding yourself for your accomplishments can keep your goals in the forefront of your mind and remind you of why you are working toward them.
Once you hit one of your goals or have accomplished a milestone, celebrate with your spouse. Let the reward match the accomplishment. If you paid off your mortgage, you may want to take your next mortgage payment and use it to purchase that couch you have always wanted.
Think Outside the Box
There are countless ways to save or earn more money. Brainstorm with your spouse about other ways you could increase your cash flow. You could start your own side hustle together. Think of a hobby you both enjoy, and develop a strategy to monetize it. Not only will you increase your income, but you will spend more quality time together too.
You could also look for ways to save money, like ditching your cable service. This may force you to find other forms of entertainment outside your home. Maybe you could spend more time hiking and enjoying nature or look for free events around your city.
The Bottom Line
There are limitless ways to make budgeting fun with your spouse. You don’t have to dread budgeting. It may take a little more time and effort, but in the end, it could leave you excited about your monthly and weekly budget. Get creative and think outside the box.