The Ultimate Guide To Budgeting For Couples

by | Apr 13, 2021 | Budgeting, Saving Money | 0 comments

Have you and your significant other been thinking about making some changes to better your finances? You’ve come to the correct place! We are going to give you all of the budgeting for couples tips that you need to begin making more impactful financial decisions.

We will cover topics such as creating a budget, choosing shared versus separate accounts, budgeting date nights, setting money goals, budgeting apps for couples, and much more.


Why Budgeting For Couples Is Important

Managing your finances to set yourselves up for a strong financial future can not only help you save money but also build a stronger relationship.

Creating financial goals and working towards achieving those goals together can be fun and highly rewarding.

Budgeting For Couples Tips

These budgeting for couples tips will help you get started with your budget. It’s important to talk openly about your money and your budgeting focus. Let’s jump in and start with budgeting for couples!

Start With A Conversation

Sit down with your budgeting partner and begin to talk about why you should begin budgeting. Turn off all devices and limit distractions to fully focus on the budgeting conversation.

Talking about money can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Try to find some common ground and talk about some of the changes that you think you can make to begin saving more money.

This should be a two-way conversation so that both of you can begin to align on what you want to accomplish together from budgeting. This can also help you create some financial goals. We will get to that a bit later in the article.

Identify What Types Of Spenders You Are

This is super important! I’ve found that there is often one person in a couple who is better at saving and living frugally. This doesn’t mean that both can’t get to this point though!

You both should think about how you handle money and how you can help each other in the budgeting and saving process. You will need to be a team and support each other as accountability partners.

Think about creating some tighter spending rules if one or both of you have bad financial habits.

Create Solid Financial Goals

To stay consistent and keep on budget, you will both need strong financial goals. It’s much easier to fall back into bad financial habits when you don’t have anything to works towards.

Be sure that your financial goals contain a certain amount of money and a timeframe. This is needed to create measurable goals so that you can properly track your financial progress.

Let’s take a look at some ideas for long-term financial goals and short-term financial goals.

Short Term Financial Goals

Maybe you need to save some money fast to pay off debts or take a nice vacation. Having short-term financial goals is crucial to keep you on track with your daily spending habits.

Short-Term Financial Goals Examples

  • Save $1000 in a month
  • Save 20% of every paycheck
  • Put $500 extra towards paying down credit cards every month
  • Save $100 every week

Long-Term Financial Goals

Long-term financial goals will be much larger amounts and spread out over longer periods of time. These types of financial goals will help you stay on a budget year over year.

Long-Term Financial Goals Examples

  • Saving up a downpayment on a house over the next year
  • Planning an early retirement by a certain age
  • Creating a set amount of passive income

Shared Accounts Or Separate Accounts

Personally, I believe that having shared accounts is much easier than using separate accounts. But, you and your partner have to find what works best for both of you.

Shared Accounts

Having shared accounts can make it easy to keep your budget on track and boost your savings. You will need to have complete financial trust in your partner to pool all of your money together.

Separate Accounts

Splitting up your budget and savings between multiple accounts might be a bit more tedious. This budgeting for couples option might be a good fit if you are in a newer relationship or just don’t completely trust your partner with money.

You could always take a combination approach and share one account while keeping individual accounts. Play around with these options and stick with what works best for you as a couple.

Create Your Budget Together

Put some time on your calendar for the two of you to dig in and create your budget. It’s always better to budget together so that each of you has a good idea of what your living expenses are compared to your combined income.

I’ve found that it’s beneficial to physically write down your living expenses and income if this is your first time budgeting as a couple. Later, we will get to some budgeting apps for couples to help keep you on budget.

  1. Add Up Income – Make sure to add all income from jobs, side hustles, or other ways that you bring in additional income.
  2. Add Up Living Expenses – Pull together all of your bills including housing, utilities, auto loans, insurance, credit card payments, personal loans, monthly subscriptions, and any other revolving expenses. This should not include anything other than your combined bare minimum living expenses.
  3. Budget In Savings And Others – You can now take your minimum living expenses and subtract them from your dual incomes to get an idea of how much you can potentially save each month. Now you can budget in things outside of your living expenses for hobbies, entertainment, and other costs.

Check out our budgeting for beginners guide for more tips on budgeting.

Create Spending Rules

It can be difficult to break bad money habits that you and your partner have been making throughout your entire adult lives. You can mitigate some of these habits by putting a few spending rules in place to support you.

  • Delay all spending on wants versus needs for 24 hours
  • Discuss any new expenses over a certain amount with partner
  • Don’t spend money on extras until bills have been paid

My wife and I have implemented all of these rules and they have been crucial to our budgeting success.

Budgeting For Couples Date Nights

Schedule a budgeting date night at least once a month. Use these date nights to review your budget and see how well the two of you are doing at hitting your financial goals.

When reviewing your budget, you might find some areas where you can improve upon. You may also find areas where you are kicking ass and saving a ton of money!

Update and tweak your budget as your finances and financial goals change. Always look for more opportunities to save extra money!

We have plenty of fun date night ideas in case you need some help planning out your budgeting date night.

Pay Yourself First

Get into the strong financial habit of paying yourself first. This involves saving money from every paycheck and moving that into savings before you pay for anything else.

I know it sounds difficult, but you will save more money if you pay yourself first. There are always ways to boost income to cover your living expenses and hit your savings goals.

Check out this article on paying yourself first to learn more.

Budgeting Apps For Couples

Physically writing down your living expenses and budget is an awesome way to get started budgeting but can become time intensive while trying to maintain a monthly budget.

There are numerous online tools and budgeting apps for couples. Here are a few of our favorites.

  1. HoneyDue – Available on the Apple Store and Android
  2. YNAB (You Need A Budget)Available on the Apple Store, Android, and web
  3. EveryDollar – Available on the Apple Store, Android, and web

Wrapping Up Budgeting For Couples

Remember that budgeting doesn’t have to be stressful. Be open and honest with your partner about your financial goals. Create financial goals together and help keep each other accountable.

Keep those budgeting date nights on the calendar. Review and change your budget as your financial situation shifts. Use your budget and money as a tool to strengthen your relationship.

Don’t forget to reward yourselves for knocking your budget out of the park. Make sure not to go overboard though!

We appreciate you reading our guide on budgeting for couples. We hope that this article helps you and your significant other to begin your path towards financial well-being.