Saturday 4th September 2021
In this week’s blog we’re talking about how to get on the same page with your spouse about money.
Handling finances together is a good idea. I’m not saying it’s easy but if you want to win with money, then you must be on the same page. Being in a relationship is all about supporting each other, helping each other and that is why combing your finances is a good thing!
For years Bob and I weren’t on the same page. We had two separate bank accounts and our own credit cards and neither of us knew what the other one had. Although, as I am the saver and Bob the spender, we could have made a pretty good guess!
Here are a few top tips that have helped us to get on the same page:
Read (or listen) to a good book about money!
I can highly recommend The Meaningful Money Handbook by Pete Matthew if you are in the UK or The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey if you are in the US. I can highly recommend both books and reading these books was a great conversation starter for us. I read the books and Bob listened to the audio books.
If your spouse is not keen to read the book or listen to the audio, then, when the time is right, calmly tell them that this is important to you and you would appreciate it if they would read it. Don’t keep on about it, give them time and one day you will be surprised!
Grab a cup of your favourite beverage and talk about what you have. This may not be an easy conversation but show grace, be kind and be thankful that you are talking! You don’t need to solve everything in one go, if you have many things to discuss, then make plan of talking about one area at a time, eg debt and goals.
It’s never too late to turn things around. You are the only obstacle.
Make a Plan
Just before you get paid, sit down together, and create a plan on how you are going to spend the money. Don’t forget that you can have some fun money too! Just because you are paying off debt, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun too.
A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
It’s all too easy to let your spouse be in charge and make all the decisions, but you both need to communicate so that you know what’s going on. There are so many apps out there to help you budget so take your time and find the right app for you. Don’t forget that your budget may not go well the first month but don’t give up!
Support each other and remind each other of your ‘why’
Even though I am the saver, I find it very easy to shop or find excuses for why we ‘must’ purchase something, whether it be a thing or an experience. My family are great, they pull me up and remind me of the plan. I have made ‘why’ posters and placed them around the house. These are to encourage us to stay focused, pictures of our long-term goals e.g Disneyworld Florida and our ‘dream’ house. Ironically, I thought the rest of the family would need reminding, but it’s me who needs reminding most!
If you’re part of a couple, then the vision should be shared, to a large extent. It’s the lofty heights you’re working towards together, so you need to be on the same page. Discuss it over a bottle of good wine and relax into it.
Financial date night
Find the right time for you both: in the afternoon, in the car, Saturday morning coffee. It’s a time you set aside and review your finances. Don’t talk about everything at once, have some fun. Two of my favourite questions are,” If money was no object, where would you like to be in five years’ time?’ and “When we have cleared our debt and are able to give, how are you planning to bless others?” We have fun as a family answering those questions! Other more serious conversations should include making a will, careers, debt, retirement, managing debt. Top tip: Don’t spring these conversations onto your spouse, plan it – if you have a reluctant, overwhelmed spouse like Bob, jumping into a money conversation without any warning will not go far!
In summary, my advice would be to talk to your spouse about money as soon as you can. Bob and I didn’t talk about money until our 18thyear of marriage – but even if you haven’t talked about money and you have been married 67 years, it’s never too late! Bob just didn’t want to and I have learnt not to get cross with him but show him grace. Be kind – always. It turned out that Bob just felt totally overwhelmed about our finances. Take it from me – nagging does not work!
Now we are talking about money, it feels great to be on the same page. To be tackling our debt, and talking about building wealth, is an awesome feeling. Finally, we are intentional with our money! Let our story be an encouragement to you. Always hope!
If you have any top tips on how to get on the same financial page with your spouse, then please do leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
Thanks, and God bless,