How to be on the Same Page Financially and Achieve your Financial Goals
In our home, we call money or budget talks “Abundance Meetings”. The word budget always felt restrictive and like we’d need to cut back.
Abundance makes us feel wealthy and that the focus is on our goals, lifestyle and where we want to be rather than just cutting back.
We do Abundance Meetings regularly to make sure our finances, goals and life are on track. When we are slack and don’t keep on top of it, money gets wasted.
Talking about your money or budget doesn’t need to take a lot of time, be complicated or boring. Here is how I do it.
Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links to products and services I use.
Make It Fun
One of the most important things to do with money, budgets and goals is to make them fun. No one likes meetings at work, so why would it be any different at home?
Do something you enjoy with it such as a nice dinner, a glass of wine (VINOMOFO has wines up to 75% off) or have a ‘reward’ for after. Making it fun and something to look forward to instead of a boring budget meeting makes a difference.
We enjoy thinking about our future, playing games or mucking around e.g. What would you do if you won the lotto this week? (Basing it on whatever the Lotto amount is for that day or week). Visualising what we would do with the money when talking about our finances helps us stay on track and enjoy it more.
Think about what you want in life and how you can make it happen. Get clear on your goals whether it be buying a new car, a house, a holiday or retirement. Knowing the lifestyle you want, the things you want, when and how you want to retire, holiday and everything else pertaining to life is important.
Set defined goals based on what you want, not what others want or have. You are the one living your life, make sure it is one you enjoy. Then when you have your budget or abundance meetings, review them to ensure you are on track.
Review Past Expenses
Whether you are meeting weekly or monthly, take the time to review your expenses since your last meeting. This gives you a better idea of your true expenses and lifestyle rather than what you think you are spending.
Scroll through your statements or online banking to get an idea of your spending. If you can, track all your spending regularly whether through an app or by getting and keeping all receipts. The more accurate you can track, the easier it is to review these expenses.
By reviewing regularly, you can see where you leak money, what changes you need to make and where there might be some wiggle room.
Discuss Upcoming Expenses
Any upcoming expenses you know about from school fees to insurance or registration can be discussed and planned for. After you’ve been doing these meetings a while and the more organised your finances are, the easier this part is.
For us, most of these things are automated to make it easy. We don’t want to spend extra time paying bills or organising those things. Instead, having it automated means we know everything is paid on time.
We do still check all bills and payments regularly to make sure it is done correctly and fix any errors quickly.
Go over how much money came in through every avenue you have: wages, side hustles, bonuses, referrals, all of it. This is an important part of creating and sticking to a budget. Knowing what is actually coming in and going out.
If your income is lower than your expenses, something needs to change. Either cut your expenses or increase your income, or better yet, do both.
Discuss Increasing Income
What can you do to make more money? If you already have side hustles, how can they be increased without too much more effort?
Thinking longer term, look at your career plans, how you can increase your income, and how you plan to have income when you retire. Investments, business and career or salary can all be assessed in a budget meeting.
Discuss Any Issues
Sometimes, problems arise whether it is unexpected large expenses or not agreeing on goals. Try to discuss it in a gentle manner, aim to understand each others side and look at what will bring you closer to your goals.
If it gets heated, try taking a 10-minute break to clear your head then discuss again. You might also want to read what to do when your partner is hopeless with money.
End On A High (Visualise)
Talking about money can get heated, especially if you are not on the same page. Try to end every discussion on a high e.g doing something you enjoy or focusing on the future.
As mentioned, we enjoy visualising and thinking about our future so this is often when we play “What would you do if you won Lotto?”