In most marriages and relationships there needs to be balance for things to work. In our marriage we’ve always been partners, but often one of us will take on a particular role, usually one that is best suited to our temperament and personality.
Finances though have never been either of our strong suits. If I were to categorize us both, I’d call us mostly reformed spendthrifts. We have a way of talking each other into things that we think we “need.”
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We’ve both made mistakes, both big and small, but we’ve never had financial balance until recently. We realized that I’m good with controlling expenses, and he’s good with handling the fun portion of our money. We’ve realized that I’m good with planning, and budgeting, and he’s good at sticking to the plan (even when I try to talk him out of it!).
Some financial bloggers/experts advise having monthly “meetings,” or date night to talk about the finances, but we’ve learned that is the LAST thing we want to talk about at the end of the day. It’s probably been a good month since we’ve had a real sit down, and often then I feel like it’s more information than he wants to hear, just because I like to talk about finances and money more than he does. (we have joint finances)
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On Thursday (payday), when I was done paying the bills and setting out the plan for the next 28 days, I did something new. I sent my husband a detailed email describing what was being paid when, and how we were handling spending money this month, and some of our short term goals. I also included 2 items that he needed to address. I labeled it “Financial Update.” I also included a little bright note at the end to make it not so tough to read.
The reason this works for us, is because I am more concise in email (no rambling allowed), and he can choose to respond with a simple reply and I know that he got all the info. I also like that we’ll be able to go back and look at these updates regularly for more insight into how we can do better.
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Being financial partners isn’t always easy, but as long as you have similar goals and communicate them to one another you’ll be in great shape. The key with relationships is open communication, and a willingness to be put your partner’s needs in balance with your own needs.
How do you and your spouse/partner communicate about money?