Guest Post by Brian Hamilton, Bestselling Author of 90 Day Money Challenge. Please visit his site for the other 3 reasons budgets don’t work.
Who should handle the budgeting in a marriage? The husband or the wife? The spender or the saver? The nerd or the free spirit? If you want to be wealthy, you need to do what wealthy people do. And their answer is: both of you!
The #4 reason that most budgets don’t work is because you don’t work together with your spouse.
The Budget Committee Meeting (BCM)
If you’re married, it’s time for the BCM: a quick budget meeting with your spouse before every month for the rest of your lives.
You are not taking over the money, your spouse is not taking over the money, you are going to work together and you both have a vote. You are both adults. You’re not daddy taking care of a spoiled little girl or mommy taking care of a little boy and dishing out his allowance; you are two adults working together.
BCM Ground Rules
This meeting should take place at the kitchen table with the TV off.
1. Do a rough draft of the budget
2. Bring it to the meeting
3. Be quiet (all of your opinions are on the page)
4. Make it brief
5. Let the free spirit change something (you’re getting their support when you make it “our” plan)
1. Come to the meeting
2. Talk at the meeting and have mature input
3. Agree to every number on the page or vote to change it
4. You can no longer say, “Whatever you want to do” (this is part of having mature input)
Once both of you agree on the budget, it’s now a contract for the month. Pinky swear and spit shake that you will both stick to spending the amounts you agreed to at the meeting.
The BCM is the biggest thing that can improve your marriage and stop money fights, assuming you can keep your word and you have integrity. Make each other a promise and keep that promise.
We’ve had a BCM every month since we’ve been married and we’ve never spent any money that wasn’t in the budget without having an EBCM (Emergency BCM) first. That’s where something comes up in the middle of the month and you add an expense to the budget, rebalance it, and agree on it with your spouse before you do the spending.
If this is the first time you have done a budget with this much detail, I can almost guarantee it’s not going to work out according to your plan. But it does get easier. The first month may take close to an hour, but we now spend about three minutes per month on this (because our budget doesn’t change much anymore).
If you implement the BCM, you’re going to learn to work together in a way you’ve never worked together before and you’re going to see your marriage improve dramatically.
Question: Are you having any trouble getting your spouse on board?
Please leave your comments below.