Ahhh....the budget meeting.
Sounds just about as exciting and romantic as....oh, I dunno.....having a root canal whilst listening to Nickleback.
I'm one of those very odd people that kind of ENJOYS sitting down and writing all that kind of stuff out. I love to see hard numbers right there on paper. I love balancing things.
I, folks, am a dork.
My husband and I have not always been very good about keeping the budget meeting a regular thing. Since I do enjoy it, I tend to just do the budget and pass the info on to him....which is SO not how you're supposed to do things. We need to improve greatly on our whole "working together" part of the situation.
But, we have had maaaaannnny budget meetings and I've managed not to stab him and hide his body in the basement.
Not that I would do that. But, I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery. People have done that over a lot less.
Here's a nice little handy list of things you can do to hold a stress-free....and murder-free....budget meeting.
HAVE THE MEETING DISTRACTION FREE
You can't exactly have a productive meeting about finances while one of you is surfing Facebook and the other is watching TV. Turn everything off, wait until the kids are in bed, and FOCUS.
WRITE THINGS DOWN
I'm a big fan of Excel spreadsheets, but I also write everything down on good ole pad and paper. Because apparently I'm old. But, it's also proven to be really helpful to SEE everything....to FEEL the numbers as you write them down. So, get out a pad of paper and a pencil and go to town.
YOU BOTH GET A VOICE
I soooo struggle with this because I'm a big-ass control freak. But, both of you have to have a voice in the matter. If your husband thinks it's important that you allocate money towards a household matter, let him defend that opinion. If you think you need to put more money towards college savings, be prepared to defend that as well.
STICK TO A PRE-DETERMINED PLAN
Before you get going on any meeting, you both have to spit-shake (don't do this for real because that's gross) that you're on the same track. I don't care WHAT plan you're going after, there's a lot of ways to handle your finances out there, but you both have to be following the same one. If one of you is all about "building your credit" with credit card use and the other is cash only no matter what, you're gonna go to blows. It'll be Financial Thunderdome.
Get your plan in order before you attempt a full on budget meeting.
YOUR WORD IS YOUR BOND
Once you have your budget in place for the month...the week...whatever.....YOU NEED TO FOLLOW IT. There's no point in sitting down and hashing this all out (and missing This Is Us) if one of you is just gonna go rogue and start buying a bunch of shit you don't need.
Be true to your word, you owe your partner that much. Even if the budget seems a bit tight that week/month....there's probably a reason for it.
You may have noticed the little cartoon at the top. I made art, people! Sort of. Anyway, I've sketched up some doo-hickey's to help draw attention to the blog posts and various Social Media posts I put out there, so feel free to share 'em.
I hadn't sat down and actually DRAWN something for a legit reason in a REALLY long time.
Working way outside of my comfort zone, here!
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