Couples should be looking at or discussing finances. Let’s get more specific:
Create a Budget or spending plan. If you have a budget or spending plan. You should be reviewing that regularly. Line item by line item. Decide what expenses or goals need to be cut. What needs to be reduced? In looking at your budget, what needs to be changed, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be removed? Consider reducing overall spending (If you don’t need it, don’t buy it right now).
Assess whether it’s a need VS a want. If you do not have emergency savings, consider limiting your wants. Increase your cash reserve for a savings account. What a great time now to establish an emergency fund to be used only for emergency reasons. Also, Assess your life insurance policy for added protections for your family.
We are going to pump money into our priorities rather than our wants. Take action, and be practical when it comes to your finances. Find creative ways to reduce expenses, and you’d be surprised with how much money you can save and use for something else. There are a number of budgeting tools, like budget worksheets. It is a great feeling to see where your money is going.
Oftentimes, we are in a relationship with someone with a different spending habit or viewpoint than we do. One maybe freer spirited and more of an abundance thinker, and the other one maybe more conservative and more into planning and saving. You both coming together can be a great balance as long as you’re communicating and you’re valuing each other’s perspectives. Talking about your finances, really working as a team helps with the quality of your life. And I’m a firm believer in creating generational wealth.
Who Makes the final decision with finances?
The first action is you must come together and discuss the situation or the circumstances. Whatever it is, put everything out on the table. If you’re telling the story, nor the person having to listen, make sure you both understand the financial situation. Then, you come up with some solution, so both parties are involved. You come up with something that you can do. You may have a little bit more knowledge in one area vs. your spouse, but you’re both putting the problem on the table, and you’re coming up with solutions on the table. Then you want to come to an agreement on what you are going to do.
Regardless of where this suggestion came from. You both have to come to an agreement. There shouldn’t just be one person who has knowledge about what’s going on in your finances as a family. Regardless, if you have someone who has more of a leadership role. No one should be blind, and everyone’s voice should still count; you are coming together as one and as a team. Create an environment where you can come up with compromises. Accepting that you both have different views versus proving who’s right and who’s wrong. Working together makes life so much easier.
Written by: Natasha D. Oates, Award-winning therapist & marriage counselor