Team Up: Understanding Household Finances Makes You Financial Winners

If you’re part of a couple, managing your financial lives should be a team sport…but that’s often not the case. While it’s not uncommon for one person in the relationship to know more about the household finances than the other, it’s important for both parties to understand the entire financial picture.

 

I cringe when I’m told, “Oh, my husband/wife/partner handles our finances. There’s no need for me to be a part of your meeting.”

 

That statement tells me there’s work to be done.

 

When one half of your relationship doesn’t understand or actively participate in your household finances, chances are you will be disappointed with the outcome. By tackling your finances as a team, you’re much more likely to be financial winners.

 

Here’s why:

 

Your opinion and your values matter.

 

There are so many questions that only you can answer, like how you feel about money, how you react to financial challenges, and how you view financial success. You can’t expect your significant other to know all the answers and hearing both voices will help create a better plan.

 

You have skills that benefit your finances.

 

We all have different gifts, skills, and proficiencies. Two full sets of skills are better than one! Maybe you’re a budgeting wizard, or maybe you’re good at seeing the big picture. Either way, you’re an asset to your financial endgame.

 

Being involved helps avoid inaccurate assumptions.

 

What if your spouse assumes you want to work until 65, but you actually want to be finished at 60? What if your partner assumes you never want to sell your home and downsize, but in reality, you want to own a condo with less maintenance? These are big decisions that can significantly impact a plan. If you’re not on the same page, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to mistakes that could impact your financial future and your relationship.

 

The spouse who manages the finances is under a lot of pressure.

 

Making all the financial decisions for the family and being the person responsible if things don’t go according to plan is a big commitment. Sharing the burden with another person removes some of the pressure.

 

There’s risk to knowing nothing about your finances.

 

I’ve met with widows and widowers who knew nothing about their financial situation when their spouse or partner died or became disabled. It’s a shock and a very steep learning curve. Being involved early helps you plan together and prepare together for life’s curveballs.

 

If you’ve never been involved in financial decisions and the day-to-day management of your financial household, I encourage you to do so this year. Chances are, you’ll feel empowered, you’ll learn so much, and your financial house will be in better order.

 

Andrea Blackwelder Financial Planner

Andrea Blackwelder is a Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner and the co-founder of Wisdom Wealth Strategies, a fee-based financial planning and investment advisory practice. Andrea looks at your complex financial planning puzzle and assists you with the best options and financial strategies that align with your financial needs. To contact Andrea, email andrea.blackwelder@wisdomws.com.

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