According to people who calculate such things, we are smack dab in the throes of wedding season.
Personally, I always love a wedding. Mostly because there are not nearly enough commitments that involve a dance floor, but also because it’s just so hopeful. Don’t you think?
Hold on to that hope for a second because, before we go too far, I’ve got some numbers for you:
70 percent of couples report money as the thing they fight about most—with frivolous purchases, household budgeting, and credit card debt cited as the biggest sources of friction. (Money Magazine)
Finances are the leading cause of stress in relationships. (Sun Trust Bank)
The more frequently couples argue over finances, the more likely they are to get divorced—especially if they fight about it several times a week or almost every day. Of course, couples fight about all kinds of different things, but above all else, the frequency of money disputes are the #1 best predictor of divorce. (Utah State University)
You Don’t Have to Become A Statistic …
If you and your honey fight about money, you’re in a safe place now. We’ve seen it all (and there’s hope!). There are really just three steps to changing the way you and your partner handle money:
Learn to Talk About Money
No, really talk about it. Chances are, if you’re fighting about money, you haven’t dug deep enough. Get it all out on the table—your fears, your mistakes, your dreams, your habits, your weaknesses, your deal-breakers—all of it.
Get Real About Your Priorities
If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. So, ask some hard questions—of yourself and your partner—and decide what matters most. There are three sets of priorities that need to be named, addressed, and respected: yours, mine, and ours. What do you really want as individuals and as a couple? Take the time to really work through what’s most important and commit to your common ground and your compromises. Once you do, there’s not nearly as much to fight about.
Make It a Lifestyle
If both parties don’t continue to engage with the budget, and about the budget with each other, it won’t work. Commit to ongoing, intentional communication about your priorities, your goals, and your progress. Consider a regular budget meeting date night to ensure you continue to ask questions, wrestle with priorities, and adjust appropriately when circumstances change.
The ability to talk openly about money, and budget together, will eliminate fighting—but it might surprise you, and do a whole lot more.
Then, Pay It Forward
Back to all those weddings …
You could show up with a place-setting, a candle, a kitchen appliance, or an Amazon gift card. Sure. Or—I think you know where I’m going with this—you could give the hopeful newlyweds something that will help them keep the hope alive: a gift subscription to YNAB!
Even we know that budgeting software isn’t exactly sexy, so we made some printable cards to help you give a young couple the best-thing-they-didn’t-know-they-always-wanted, in style:
So, budget well, and give well. Download them all here!
Each 5″x7″ card is available flat and folded. Pick your favorite style and print! Then, carefully, cut the design out with a pair of scissors (safety first, right?). The folded version has a handy outline to guide you. Want to add a nicer touch? We recommend printing them on card stock, if your printer has the ability.
Your Next Step
Budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. So what do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress?