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Before I got married I had heard that the number one cause of divorce was financial problems. This instantly gave me anxiety and a strong desire to never, ever fight about money. It sounds good in theory but this meant for nearly a decade I kept every single financial struggle we were facing to myself. I have been handling our budget since before we were married. Any time money was tight or debt felt overwhelming I just kept it to myself because I didn’t want to stress Tom out and I certainly didn’t want to fight about money. The truth is, talking to your spouse about living on a budget can be extremely stressful but it is absolutely necessary.
I’m going to break down some great resources to help get you started on the right financial track with your significant other. Because, as it turns out, the actual leading cause of divorce (these days) is lack of communication. Damn. I got that wrong this whole time. So I’ll share with you what got me to open up, how we started getting serious with our finances and what you can do to get serious with yours.
When Tom and I started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Dave stressed the huge importance of learning to work your budget together. In fact, he said he was shocked with people began telling him that his financial courses helped saved their marriages. Now, it doesn’t surprise him because getting together to talk about your finances can really push your comfort levels and get you talking about some serious matters.
One of the hardest parts of getting right with our money for me was the idea that we had to invest in classes to help us get out of debt. Why would I spend money to save money? I mean, buying shoes and clothes is one thing…but something that could actually help me…no way. I definitely had to get my priorities strait.
The truth is you have to put your money where your priorities are. If one of your main priorities is to get out of debt and get real with your finances, then it’s important that you invest in programs that will help you.
Now we have gotten so great at managing our budget and paying off our debt that I have created a budget binder just to help others do the same.
Reading together may sound like absolute torture. Maybe you don’t like reading, maybe your spouse doesn’t like reading or maybe the idea of curling up and reading to your spouse or them reading to you just weirds you out. I get it. However, Dave Ramsey has a ton of great reading material when it comes to creating financial peace. He is also the creator of Financial Peace University. Financial Peace University is a great course that takes you step by step through all of Dave Ramsey’s best debt payoff methods and budgeting tips. Basically a crash course to survive and thrive when it comes to money taught by someone who started his financial journey with total bankruptcy. He gets it. He knows the money mistakes, because he has made them. Below is a Financial Peace University kit as well as some of Dave Ramsey’s top recommended books. He even has a great board game for kids to get them started with smart finances at a young age: Act Your Wage
If investing in a Dave Ramsey course seems to overwhelming of a step to take, there are a ton of online options you can access that are a little more budget friendly.
Getting your finances in order is absolutely a must if you plan on sharing your life with someone. Sharing a life means sharing money and money struggles. Let’s face it, if you have a big problem to overcome, more often than not, two is better than one. They say working out is better with an accountability buddy. The same is true in your marriage when it comes to finances…or anything else for that matter. Help one another get back on track and stay there.
Lastly. What is your why? Why do you want to get better finances? Do you each have your own whys? Talk about them and be supportive. If you want to save up for a vacation to the Bahamas and your spouse wants to save up to get another flat screen TV that you don’t think you need; still be supportive. (Maybe I’m speaking from experience.) Allow one another to be heard. It will be the best way to get through this together. Communication. Communication. Communication.
$5 Meal Plan – The $5 meal plan was created by a busy mother of 4 for other busy mother’s out there. Get access to healthy meal plans that take all the guess work out of what to make for your family!
BeFrugal – Be Frugal is an online resources for the best coupons around. In stores, online or in restaurants.
Dosh – Dosh is an app that links up to your credit cards (or qualifying debit cards) and gives you money back on purchases you make. It works like other cash back apps by refunding you money on qualifying purchases. Only you don’t have to keep track, it scans discounts and gives you money back automatically!
Declutter – Decluttr is a super easy online way to sell your unused things to get the maximum amount of money!
Fun Sized Budget Bundle- My very own customized budget bundle. Including your basic budgeting printouts, debt payoff sheets as well as savings and vacation planners!
IBotta – IBotta is a totally free app that pays you $10 just for signing up. With this app you can get paid for the things you already plan on buying!
Love and Money – Online courses to help couples and family get finances together in order to stay together!
Paperless Home – The paperless home guides you step by step through how to start creating a home where all of your most important information can always be in one place and always at your finger tips!
Simplify + Planner – Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog has a great and inexpensive planner to help you get intentionally organized. Starting a blog can be very overwhelming and getting a little organized can go a long way.
Target Debit Card – If you shop at Target as much as me, you should definitely get in on the debit card if you haven’t already. All it does is remove money from your regular checking account like a regular debit card, but saves you 5% on your purchases every time you use it!