In a marriage ,who should be responsible for coming up with a budget and what should the budget include?

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Ideally, both partners in a marriage would be responsible for coming up with a household budget. What a budget would include would vary by household, especially dependent on whether or not a household has children. But generally speaking, a budget would include:

  • utilities, rent, mortgage, and other payments associated with owning or renting a home
  • groceries, toiletries, and cleaning/maintenance products
  • credit payments (car payments, credit cards, etc.)
  • gasoline
  • regular medical expenses
  • communications (cell phone bills, cable, home internet)
  • local property taxes
  • Other specific expenses (tuition, memberships, insurance payments)

Of course, a budget also includes income, which can be irregular, and families need to consider income fluctuations in compiling a budget. After these expenses have been covered, a family can consider things like entertainment. I have also not included clothing in this budget since for many people, that is a seasonal rather than a regular expense. But clearly, some coordination between partners is necessary to maintain a sensible budget. 

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