Creating a budget with your partner

March 10, 2023

Budgeting with your partner is a great way to forge a healthy financial relationship while also creating a solid framework for a shared financial future together.

As a couple, your money situation will constantly be changing, so when one person holds all the money responsibility it can be difficult to navigate things in your relationship. It also impacts the non-responsible person because, more often than not, they are genuinely unaware of the costs in the relationship.

So by doing a budget together you both get to know the real cost of living in your household and you can both be on the same page for your financial goals. It also protects you both from being left in the dark if one of you were to suddenly become unavailable – no one wants to have to learn how to pay the household monthly bills while handling a family crisis.

Budgets can:

Plan out what you will do when you need to make a purchase or how you might allocate disposable income.

Budgeting provides a plan to assist with allocating money for weekly and monthly entertainment and vacation planning.

Adopt a realistic plan to prevent yourself from sliding into financial over-commitment.

It will allow you to put aside funds for date nights, special occasions or events that foster togetherness.

Having a budget will mean you'll know exactly what's happening with your money each week, fortnight and month.

If you plan your budget well and stick to it, you can factor in a savings scheme that will grow in no time.

Financial freedom can be expanded by regularly re-evaluating your budget.

Budgeting provides an opportunity to discuss and develop a plan that works for both. It shares the responsibility for relationship finances and holds each other accountable.

Setting aside funds for surprise costs or emergencies can help reduce pressure.

Achieving savings goals, paying off debt and seeing the results from your hard work is a great reason to celebrate.

Budgeting will support the process of formally working out your future goals and plans.

Budgeting can also be a tool for discussing a whole range of issues that may be difficult to bring up. 

These conversations are critical relationship builders. 


So let’s talk budgeting

Talking about priorities and spending is about lifestyle choices. 

A good place to start is by considering:

Understanding this information will help you and your partner create an effective budget. Even if one partner says they are happy not to know and want their partner to manage it all, the pressure and expectation associated with that level of responsibility can be stressful.

It is not uncommon when writing up your first budget for it to take a few hours or even days when you include time for reflection. This is not because budgeting is a complicated process, but because it can take a number of conversations and considerations to develop. 

You may also notice your partner struggling to budget because of the meaning and history attached to what you’re doing – fears from looking at the past and hopes and dreams for the future.

If your partner understands the need to plan but doesn’t want to do it, or they struggle to follow a budget, it may be difficult to get them to commit. You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to, so it’s important to come up with a solution that works for both of you.

Tips for creating a budget

Keep it simple

Make it easy for both of you to participate in the discussion.

Create an outline

Come up with a basic budget outline that covers the essential costs such as food, rent, petrol, everyday expenses and any money that is left over.

Discuss the benefits

It may help to talk about goals that have been expressed such as owning a home or travelling.

Be flexible

It may be hard to stick to your budget in the beginning.

Accept mistakes

It is common to make mistakes and under or overestimate costs.

Check in with your goals

See whether your budget aligns with your financial goals. It will help you clarify changes that may be needed to plan for the future.

Free budgeting tools

Learn more

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Healthy Financial Relationships Toolkit

Find all the tools you need to have healthy convers.ations about money with your partner.


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