Have you ever waited for your country’s budget in order to look at areas of planning and investment? So it is in marriage; if you do not have a budget in your marriage, the likelihood of being financially free as a family is next to none.
Remember that financial freedom is not based on an individual but on the collective.
Years ago, hubby and I had issues on meeting financial deadlines. This led to several intense quarrels. Years have gone by, and financial issues seem to be a thing of the past; what changed? Budgeting! We began to plan our annual budget, taking cognizance of short and long term financial commitments we have as individuals and as a couple cum family.
We want to share a few tips on how to create a budget for your marriage:
1) Why do you want to budget? This question is so crucial. The why of the budget will help you understand the type of budget you need.
Are you going through a financial crisis and need help? Then the kind of budget you need is a deficit budget. A deficit budget helps you look at the areas of lack and how and where to apply the little finances you have while looking for opportunities to cover the other areas of need.
A deficit budget can also be called a high priority budget. What is most important versus what is needed.
Example of deficit budget:
Both couples’ combined income is N200,000. They have an autistic child who needs to attend a school of N200,000. But if they do, there will be no finances for the rest of the family. So they choose to split the finances between housing, feeding of the children and basic bills while looking for a nanny to take care of their autistic child for the interim (short term). Most people start with a deficit budget but with careful planning, it can go into a balanced budget.
2. Balanced budget: This is when your financial income matches up with your expenditure. Therefore, leaving no extra for investment or growth. Most families fall into the balanced budget. The only problem is that one has to consciously plan financial growth (future plan or retirement plan) or one will remain like this for the rest of their life.
Budgeting is crucial because your income is somewhat limited while your expenses are usually unlimited. So both spouses must plan and harmonize to meet their expenses now and beyond.
3. Surplus budget: This should be everyone’s target. This is simply having more than you can spend. This works when we intentionally live below what we earn while looking for opportunities to invest a percentage of the surplus.
Whoever achieves a surplus budget understands that investment is the key to maintaining it.
Now, if you have answered why you need a budget, it becomes easier to ascertain what areas you need to budget, invest in and discard.
This weekend, we encourage all individuals and couples to do a test on the budget type and begin to plan for a better future.
Ngee and Rich
(Dr. Richard and Ngozi Okonkwo)
Relationship Coach/Habit Instructors
Founders – Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative
“Will two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3