Let’s Talk About (Money), Baby!

Can you think of anything more exciting to do with your spouse than talk about your family finances?

Um, I sure hope so!

But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a vitally important and incredibly rewarding practice.  I know you’re busy, and probably particularly so during this back-to-school season, but that’s no excuse for poor communication about money.

In fact, that’s precisely the reason why you need to have regular meetings with your spouse to talk shop about your finances.

How regularly?

If you’re actively working to pay off your debt or aggressively meet some other financial goal, you should aim for a weekly sit-down together.  This is also appropriate if you’re new to the practice or if you’ve only recently created your first budget and are working out the kinks.

If you’re a bit more seasoned and your money situation doesn’t tend to change very often, then a monthly chat should be sufficient.  In all cases, you really shouldn’t go more than a month without a concerted discussion about your money goals and plans.

Still not convinced?

3 Reasons You Need a Regular Money Meeting in Your Marriage

1. Take the Time to See Where You Are

If your household is anything like ours, it’s really easy to go weeks at a time simply keeping up with the kids’ activities and squeezing in a date night or two with my wife.  We’re all busy, and that’s exactly why you need this special time to talk about money.

If you don’t set the time aside, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re not sure what happened to your money over the last year (or five).  Simply spending 30 minutes with your spouse focused on these issues can make all the difference.

2. Set and Reset Your Goals

It’s incredibly difficult to hit a target when you don’t know what you’re aiming for, and that’s exactly what too many couples do with their finances.  When you establish regular communication around this topic, it allows you to set SMART goals and develop a plan to meet them.

This is also a perfect time to readjust your goals and make plans for upcoming financial events.  That next car purchase or next year’s trip to Disney will be much less disruptive to your finances if you start talking about them months in advance.

And this provides an excellent opportunity to open up about any money-related issues that have been on your mind.  If you feel like the restaurant bills are getting out of control or there needs to be more money budgeted for date nights, your money meeting is a safe and convenient time to discuss changes to your budget.

3. Pinky Swear (Accountability)

If there’s one thing that regularly talking to your husband or wife about money will do for you personally, it’s build in a sense of real accountability for your spending choices.  When day runs into day, week into week, it’s really easy to let your budget slide by the wayside and ease into bad habits.

In more serious circumstances, spouses can hold financial secrets and even lead a double life when it comes to money (think separate bank accounts and undisclosed credit cards).  This “financial infidelity” can tear apart a marriage, and this often occurs after a long period of non-communication around money.  An ounce of prevention in the form of regular, open talks can certainly be worth a pound of financial peace and transparency in this case.

I hope you can see the value in a regular money meeting with your spouse.  Sure, it’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s one of the most important to your marriage and family life.

Is this something you do in your marriage?  Why or why not?

(photo source)

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