Does your spouse know what’s going on with the finances? If you are reading this site then I’m going to go assume that you are the one who handles the money. It’s important that both spouses have a say and know exactly what’s going on with the household money.
I was talking to a long time friend a while back and she was excited because they had just made the last payment on her car. I asked her how much the payment was. She didn’t know.
She didn’t know how much her car payment was!
I asked her what they were planning to do with this newly freed up payment. She didn’t know. Her husband handles the money. Money stresses her out.
Well, I’m sorry to say but that’s no excuse. Her husband needs to make sure she knows what’s going on. At least so she has a clue if something were to happen to him, but it goes beyond that. As adults we are responsible for our own situations. If you are allowing your spouse to avoid the finances you are allowing them to avoid being a fully grown adult. Not only is it not healthy for them, it’s not healthy for you. You shouldn’t have to shoulder this chore alone.
If you have a spouse who has no interest at all in finances that’s ok. You can still “do the bills”, that’s fine. But your spouse needs to know the details of your finances. Here are a few tips for getting them involved.
- Make a written monthly budget and have them approve it at the begining of each month. Compromise if necessary.
- If changes to the budget come up during the month make sure to include them in the decision making process. At least let them know what’s going on
- Create a spreadsheet showing all your account balances, debt and savings included.
- Include them in discussions about your long term financial plans.
Just like in any partnership you must work together. Not doing so will only lead to problems. The uniformed spouse will be making assumptions about what is going on behind the scenes. “Oh, I’m sure he’s preparing us for retirement.” or “I know she pays off the credit card every month.” Eventually the truth comes out and then what?
It doesn’t even have to be that the person handling the money is doing something wrong. They could be doing everything just right and it will still cause problems. “You always say we can’t afford the things I want but you sure seem to get everything you want!” It’s easy to think that way when all you see is what is spent and you aren’t paying bills or building savings. It’s easy to see everything the other person gets but overlook what you get. But if both partners are involved in decision making process then it’s clear that no one is getting everything they want. It’s easier to see the benefits of making sacrifices. Making sure everyone is on the same page every month will do wonders for reducing money fights.
Is your partner involved in the finances? Are you?