One of the hardest things to plan for as a couple is Money Management. Money has created some great divides or great heartaches in relationships. You can plan ahead for different situations that will come up with the money. This will help keep you both on the same page for your plans and minimize or eliminate any arguments you may have about money.
Some things I have seen people doing to stay on the same page as their spouse is as follows:
“After you marry, every asset either of you acquires is jointly held. That’s why you both need to be in sync on your long-term financial goals, from paying off the mortgage to putting away for retirement. Ideally, you should talk about all this before you wed. If you don’t, you can end up deeply frustrated and financially spent.” (Suze Orman, author of “The Road to Wealth” and host of “The Suze Orman Show”)
- having a weekly allowance to have some free money for each spouse to satisfy some of the urge to just spend money, or pay for their little hobbies
- agreement made that any purchases being made over a certain dollar amount requires you to consult with the spouse before the purchase is made
- regularly scheduled updates/meetings (at least monthly) on where you are financially clear on money goals and both agree to them
My wife and I have used CalendarBudget to help us stay on the same page. At the beginning of our marriage, we didn’t have CalendarBudget to use but had planning meetings often to keep our goals in the site and make sure we were on track for reaching them. It took great effort and many hours to discuss things together and make sure we both understood what any change in our expenses would make on our budget. Finally, we created CalendarBudget and we have saved ourselves many painful hours of discussing and re-discussing, calculating and re-calculating, and analyzing how any of our big purchases (that come up a lot when starting a new life together – the furniture and other big-ticket items) were going to affect our budget. Since CalendarBudget is an online money management tool (accessible wherever we have internet access) we are both able to see how our purchase for that day is going to affect our future finances almost instantly. We just enter the expense into our budget on the date we are going to purchase it and look forward through about 3 months following to see if we will go in the red. We can then quickly make any changes that will avoid going in the red, by reducing or eliminating any expenses we can or moving the purchase to a later date when we won’t go in the red. The ease of evaluating our budget and the time saved has also saved a lot of stress.
What methods have you used to stay on the same page with your spouse financially?