Back in October, Maggie at Northern Expenditure wrote a post about her financial date with her husband. They used the worksheet that Cait over at Blonde on a Budget made to help align your budget with your goals.
After reading that post, I was inspired and thought it would be a fun experiment to do with my husband. I wasn’t as organized as Maggie and didn’t print out the worksheets ahead of time, but we pulled it up on my iPad, and sat down at the kitchen table with our morning tea/coffee and set to work. (I have since copied my notes on to one of the worksheets so I could post it here…)
Step 1 is to quickly write down your top priorities without focusing on finances. While the way we wrote our priorities was different, the ideas were the same… the top similarities came down to:
- home renovations
Step 2 is to write down the top 5 financial goals based on the results of step 1. We both came up with the same first goal which is paying for my husband’s education and get him set up in his new career. After that we deviated slightly as we both went a little more person specific, but we both had retirement savings as one of our financial goals too.
After that, step 3 is to check how much money we have allocated to our goals in the last three months. At the time that we did this exercise we didn’t actually go over the budget numbers, but we thought about how we felt about what we were allocating, and discussed it. Afterwards, when I was copying my notes on to the actual spreadsheet I checked the numbers and was surprised that most of the goals I had written down had been allocated quite a bit in the last few months.
Even though we didn’t really do step 3, we did spend some time on step 4 and discussed how we could decrease our spending in a variety of areas to redirect the money to our goals. Our big spending is always in the food and drink category, so we discussed how we could save there by shopping sales and making sure that we don’t fall in to the convenience of prepared foods or eating out.
All in all, the activity was fun and it was a good discussion to have with my husband. I’m not sure if we will do the exact procedure again, but I think we’ll try to do something similar every so often to make sure we are still working towards our goals.
I’m not sure if this conversation is related to my husband’s new interest in our budgets and our YNAB entries (that I mentioned on Tuesday), but I’m thinking it is.
Have you ever had a financial date? Or have you ever done the worksheet that Cait (Blonde on a Budget) put together? How do your goals align with your budget?