Here is a quick example of the budget my partner and I are working on. We both put away $1,000 in a joint bank account which we use for all of our shared expenses. We use an auto-generated template in Google Drive. If you go to the drop down menu New < Templates, you’ll see what I’m talking about. They have a Monthly Budget and an Annual Budget.
The funny thing is that before my current partner, I was notorious for dating accountants! Ok, the last one was in corporate finance (which is just a glorified accountant). I think the reason is that I was insecure about my own earning power. I chose people to be “fail safes,” hoping that they would in some way rescue me from having to address my lack of budgeting.
Instead of leaning into the discomfort and addressing my budgeting skills. I avoided them. The power is in learning that you should only be spending $50 a week on food. That sometimes we have to say no to eating out because 1) It’s rarely a healthy food choice and 2) It isn’t in the budget! For me in particular, eating and drinking out can be unhealthy coping mechanisms or habits used to numb or distract me from the stresses of life. It’s a fine line I have to ride.
Money conversations are not easy but once you have a plan in place, it becomes easier. It might mean that we need to work an extra night shift to subsidize that dream we are working on. There is no shame in having a side hustle or pursuing our own creativity. I can promise you, not having to worry about choosing between paying your credit cards or the electric bill frees up a world of artistic space and energy.
Is this helpful? A lot of you have asked for it. I know it might feel basic to some of you, but for others I hope it takes some of the fear out budgeting.