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As you may have noticed the first item on this list is to manage your money with a written budget. In fact, most experts will tell you that this is absolutely critical to eliminating problems over family finances. A budget is not just a way to cut costs, it is a way to negotiate an agreement as to how you will spend and save your money. You and your partner or spouse should track your spending for at least a month, then sit down and divide it into categories. Don't rely on your memory when it comes to tracking spending. The both of you could use pens and notepads or get one of the many expense-tracking apps available for use on smartphones. The important thing is to track your spending and make sure you include every expense. This is where some trust is required – trusting your significant other that she or he is being honest about their spending.
The next thing you'll need to do is divide up your spending into logical categories such as housing, transportation, food, entertainment and so on. Once you've done this you can begin a dialogue about how you will spend your money in the future. For example, when you see how much your family is spending on entertainment, you could decide to cut that in half and put the other half into your savings account. Of course, it's critical that the both of you agree on this. You should also consider how you will pay off debts and what debt relief program you will use to solve it. Putting a budget together for a family requires some good negotiating skills. You and your partner might disagree as to how much you should be spending on food but you will need to negotiate a reasonable compromise.
The critical thing
The really critical thing about a budget is for both people to buy into it. If one of you agrees to something just for the sake of agreement your budget is bound to fail. You both must be open and honest about your needs and feelings and must be committed to making that budget work. For example, if one of you wants to book a one week vacation on St. Thomas and the other would rather put the money into savings, you might compromise by putting some money into savings and going to Yellowstone instead of St. Thomas. However, you both must be satisfied with the compromise or at least willing to do what's necessary to make it work.
What the experts say
If you’d like to learn more about managing family finances successfully, here’s a video that could help.