5 Tips on Setting a Budget as a Newlywed
Let's talk about money
Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”
Ever set a budget with your partner?
I’ll never forget where I was the day Adam and I tried to talk about setting a budget together for the first time.
We were on an Amtrak train and I wanted to get off of it.
Because a few minutes into us looking over our bank statements, it was clear just how different our spending habits were.
Adam spent more cash on take out, gadgets for the home, and online purchases.
I set a cap for how much I spent on take out and made sure that my credit card bill didn’t reach a certain amount (that I set for myself) every month.
Working together on a budget seemed impossible.
Adam said the budget I suggested would starve him. I think I had said we could only spend $10 or $15 a day on food. He proposed a number 3x that.
I said Adam’s suggested budget would make us go broke.
What were we supposed to do?
I’ll tell you…but first:
Here are some tips on setting a budget with your partner.
Start With Inventory
The very first step to take involves paper. Print out all your statements (from savings and checking accounts to retirement funds and investment accounts). Create a paper trail of your finances to be able to see how much money goes in and out of your life every month.
Organize these numbers in the best way you can so that you have a clear understanding of what you are working with.
To move forward with a budget, you first have to get on the same page.
Decide on Goals
What are the goals you both have in common. If saving a certain amount a month is priority, start with that. If getting out of debt is #1, pick that. If you’re not sure what goals to have, look into different financial options and plans (around investing and saving) so that you can understand what to aim for with your money.
Pick 2-3 goals that you want to have individually and 2-3 goals as a couple.
Help: A good book to use as a resource
Keep Things Separate
You don’t have to combine all your money, you know that right? If there’s something you both don’t agree on (one you spends more money on clothes every month and the other person spends a lot of money on gadgets) you can both have a line item in the budget for personal spending and set an amount for that.
Agree on what you can for a joint budget and then set individual personal ones as well.
Try it Out for a Month
When you put a budget in motion, there’s no guarantee it will work out or be the right fit for your finances. Commit to following it for a month and see how it goes. Then adjust, optimize, and see how it can be improved.
There’s no right way of managing your finances in marriage.
Every single couple I know manages their finances differently and that’s OK.
Adam and I keep most of our money separate and share a budget for monthly challenges that we do, things we want to save for, and more.
We also do a financial check-in once a month where we review all our financial assets. Even though they are separate, we still go through these steps together.
Budget tips? Drop them below:
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),
This Week’s Love List:
The Best Valentine’s Day Gift: Wondering what to get your partner? How about this! 100% of customers gave it 5-star reviews. Grab the game this week & ships the day you buy and arrives in 2-4 days.
Gifts Under $50: Know someone who needs a gift? I like searching this website and looking at gifts to grab under $50.
Exploring this book: It really snuck into my life and made me super curios. Diving into it this week.
Make Thank You Notes: One fun thing I’m doing with Adam is making customized thank you cards to use throughout the year. We made them after we got married and ran out! In 2022, it’s time for a new design.
The Pursuit of Love: I adored this TV show so much. It’s about two cousins (who are best friends and very different) and the lives they live as they twist around the world in search of true and deep love.
There you go, friends! That’s the newsletter for this week. Leave a comment and share what you think!
Ps. If you’re new here, HELLO! Welcome. It means a lot that you’re reading this. Here’s where you can scroll through a bunch of other newsletters on all different important topics - from post-nups to love language.
ALSO - if you know anyone who would adore this newsletter, can you please share it with them? THANK YOU!
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),
Jen Glantz is a whimsical entrepreneur, 3x author, podcast host, and all-around pizza-obsessed goofball.
Here's what she is currently working on:
You're Not Getting Any Younger Podcast
The First Years of Marriage Newsletter
The Monday Pick-Me-Up Newsletter
Jen & Juice Business & Life Coaching