Every marriage has its ups and downs, as well as times of conflict and peace. Did you know that money is one of the top reasons for divorce? It’s true.

Even if you aren’t married, the way we view and handle money can be a major stressor in our lives.

My wife and I don’t always see eye to eye on how to spend our money. However, when this happens we always have something else to blame. We blame the budget!

Seriously, when we are tempted to spend outside our budget, neither one of us have to be the “bad” guy. We just blame the budget.

Stone Pile courtesy of Carlos PortoFreeDigitalPhotosnet

Now the budget can be changed, but not on the fly. We would need to sit down to talk and make changes for next month’s budget.

My wife and I have had a written budget since we got married. We may have disagreements about something to do with money, but rarely, if ever do we argue or fight about where and how to spend money.

The greatest blessing out of it all is that we have almost completely eliminated a top reason that many people cite in divorce!

The time we have invested into budgeting has brought peace into our finances. We know where our money is going.

A budget is a plan. It is writing down (or putting it in a spreadsheet) what you are going to do with your money. Tweet this!

That way when we want to go out for dinner and there is no more money in the envelope, the answer is no. It’s not Paul being a mean guy or a cheap person. It is simply the fact that we put money in and now there is no more to take out. We get to blame the budget.

The flip side is we don’t have to feel bad about spending money when we go out, because we have already agreed on how much per month.

There are many great tools out there to help you budget. Here are 2 that I would recommend – Dave Ramsey and Joseph Sangl. This will help you in planning.

Once you have something set up, stick to it. It might take you a few months of limping to iron out the kinks. You might have your car break down and realize you don’t have a budget in line for car repairs.

Let your budget be flexible. I have the tendency to not want to change the budget once it’s done. I stand back and think, it’s perfect, why mess with it!

The reality is regularly you will need to sit down and reevaluate with your spouse.

My advice on this is: Don’t change your budget mid-month. This will prevent you from making an impulse buy and hide it under a budget. If you want to make a change, wait until the next month.

Do you have a monthly budget? How has having a budget given you peace? How has not having a budget brought stress into your life?