In the last post, we left off saying that when you work together you’ll make the right decision. For a couple, togetherness is the key to financial success. Just because one of you is good at math and numbers, it does not mean that you should be the only one making financial decisions. Even if you are the only breadwinner for your family, this does not give you the right to make all of the financial decisions. Both of you must work together.

You must handle money together. When financial decisions are not made together, this will cause resentment and/or anger on the part of the non-decision spouse. Therefore, both need to be involved in making financial decisions. Marriages have two distinct individuals.  Each one has their hang-ups and own experiences with money, and their own attitudes about how money should be handled, saved, and spent.

The people in the marriage can generally be broken down into two types, Dave Ramsey calls one the Nerd and the other the Free Spirit. The Nerd is more apt to love numbers and organization. They don’t like too much of the “let’s just go with it” attitude. They prefer to have plans.

The Free Spirit, on the other hand, hates to deal with numbers. They love the “let’s just go with it” attitude. They don’t have a plan. When they go on vacations, they don’t bother making a reservation ahead of time or planning the most direct route. They figure they’ll get there when they get there and stay wherever they find a decent hotel. For the most part, this will drive the Nerd crazy. Remember, they require a plan. However, the Nerd is not necessarily the saver of the family and neither is the Free Spirit the spender.

To get ahead with money and avoid money wars you must have a plan. The plan is called a budget, spending plan, or cash flow plan. Before you make your spending plan, you need to have a meeting of the minds. This involves both of you. You should decide together what you are going to spend money on.

When you sit down to do your budget, you must do the following:

  1. Both of you must come.
  2. Both of you must participate. The Free Spirit cannot bow out by saying, “You do it. You’re better with numbers than me.”
  3. Do not spend more than 15 to 20 minutes on the budget. This is a Rapid Budget not a marathon budget. Besides, the Free Spirit will get bored after that time and start thinking about other things, like the color of the sky or flowers. Avoid sitting where the Free Spirit can gaze out the window. You’ll have lost them before you get started.
  4. You must interact with each other. Both of you need to answer what goes into each blank. Otherwise, the Internet might become more important than food.

Each month you need to get together and have your Budget meeting. This is where you make any adjustments to your budget.

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