Couples And Holiday Budgeting

With the holiday season underway, you'll likely be shopping more for gifts and stepping up your entertaining. Those with spouses or significant others likely will need (or want) to get buy-in from the other, when it comes to determining a budget for the holidays. So, as not to get hit with a credit hangover in January, here are a few tips GreenPath has put together, to keep a couple's holiday budget merry and bright.

Couple Buying Groceries image
Image: Pathways Newsletter, GreenPath Financial Wellness

1. Open communication is key. Most couples do have a routine time in the month when bills are paid and the budget is reviewed. This is a good time to have a discussion about differences in holiday spending habits and financial goals. It is important to come with an open mind, not blaming or finger-pointing, but rather focusing on shared goals.

2. Even if you are on different ends of the saving/spending spectrum, looking for common ground is important, when it comes to buying gifts. It will be necessary to look at your bigger budget picture: Wanting to take a vacation in 2017, wanting more in savings, or addressing a neglected home repair, are all examples of shared concerns and goals that will have to be considered. Focusing on a plan to achieve those goals, and making that plan a priority, might help get you and your spouse on the same page.

3. Some couples find it helpful to maintain separate checking accounts and have one shared checking/savings for shared bills and expenses, and savings for shared goals. If a shared account is considered though, it is important to consider what is fair, when it comes to purchasing gifts.

4. It could be a good thing, if you and your spouse are on different ends of the savings/spending spectrum! If there is open communication, in a healthy relationship, this could be a really good system of checks and balances. The saver will make sure that there is savings, while the spender will make sure there is a quality of life.

So, make that list and check it twice! Remember to involve your spouse or significant other, and getting buy-in on what you'll purchase this holiday season. A bit of discussion, and list-building, will go a long way in making this a great holiday season!

GreenPath is a non-profit company that partners with Telhio to help you achieve your financial goals. With GreenPath, both members and non-members can receive free access to money management and financial education services. Speak with a representative today at 877-337-3399!

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