Living a Better Life
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Budgeting for Couples
by Michelle Jones

Whether you're a couple just starting out or have been married for many years, heed this budgeting advice! :o)  More...

 

My husband and I have been married for over twenty years and I have helped many families with their finances over the years both personally and with my work here at BetterBudgeting.com.  Here are a few things I'd like to share with you on this subject...

Base Your Budget on One Income - Not Two!

This is the first thing we learned many years ago when we first started having our children in 1990!  Living on one income is not as hard as it seems, but when you're accustomed to having that second income you may think it's not even possible. And if you've been living to the max on two incomes, this may be shocking news for you, but... you shouldn't be *living* on that double income anyway!!! 

Before you decide that I've completely lost my mind, let me explain further.

Depending on Two Incomes Can be Dangerous

Let's say you've set up your budget, maxed out all your credit cards, and made every decision based on a double income. Within a short time, you can become dependent on that income.

Yet chances are really good that someone's eventually going to get sick, pregnant or lose a job. Then what?

Preparing for Difficult Times

If you've based your budget on one income, you'll have been able to put money away for those difficult times. And when they come you'll have to suspend payments to your savings account, not to your mortgage company. 

If your budget is currently based on both incomes, answer this question... "Will you be able to pay your bills if one of those incomes were to suddenly stop?"

Turning Dreams into a Reality

In addition to preparing for difficult times, living on one income has other advantages. Whether you or your spouse want to stay home with the children, go back to school, start a business, or whatever... you'll be able to use that second income to make those dreams a reality.

As long as you are continuing to bring in two incomes, invest that extra money instead of spending it. And if you never have a serious financial crisis or need to dip into your savings, you'll have a huge nest egg saved up for retirement.

(I also talk more about this subject of how couples should deal with finances both in my free ebook Dealing with Debt and my 5-week Better Budgeting Class if you'd like more information.)

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Copyright © 2001 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.

Author of...

Dealing with Debt, Frugal Family Recipes Cookbook

The Better Budgeting Class: A 5-Week Course, and 

101 Coupon Tips... To Help You Save More at the Store!

 

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