It's inevitable. An individual within a married couple will become the main financial person. It's common knowledge that over the course of marriage, either the husband or wife will emerge as the “one who does the finances.” But should this be allowed to be taken to the extreme? Should only one be in charge of the finances while the other is left in the dark? Of course not! If you're struggling with who should do the accounting, budgeting, and spending within your marriage, this article is for you.
My wife and I have been married for a little over a year now. Fairly quickly, it was evident that I was more interested in personal finance than she, so I began researching budgeting methods and implementing our finances. I knew that my wife needed to be involved in the process, but I wasn't sure to what degree.
Typically, I would sit down with her every month and we would decide together how to spend our money for the next month. It worked well, but I felt something was missing. Nevertheless, I proceeded to reconcile all our transactions, send off all the bills, and have overall control over the financial situation. It just didn't feel right. I had to find out what was missing!
After much thought, I found that I had just too much responsibility and needed Courtney to know the inner workings of our budget. Instead of reconciling our transactions myself, we now sit down together and do it! It was not enough for Courtney to know how much to spend or even enough to just have a say in how much we spend, she needed to be a part of the larger process. Now she knows how to reconcile transactions in MoneyWell, how our bill scheduler works, and other nuances of our financial plan.
Benefits Of Equal Financial Responsibility
So why share all the little fine details of your financial plan with your spouse? Here are a few reasons it is crucial to a healthy financial future.
- Brings up discussion on spending habits: By reviewing transactions together at the same time, you'll have the opportunity to ask questions about why money is being spent on certain items. Remember, this is an opportunity for discussion, not argument. Encourage each other in this process.
- Ensures that each person is financially capable in case of emergency: If you were to be in the hospital for any extended period of time, would your spouse understand what bills to pay and when? If not, go over all the essentials with your loved one to make sure the financial end of things is handled while you're recovering!
- Builds your relationship as you spend time learning to work together: This one is powerful. Learning to work together as a team is essential for any relationship. If you can't work together in marriage, your marriage is likely to fall apart. Budgeting together is a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other and build your communication skills.
If you're having trouble getting your spouse to let go of some financial responsibility and letting you get involved, be patient and prayerful. If your husband or wife is controlling and wants to handle it all, counseling is recommended – there are probably larger issues that you must address.
Most importantly, keep communication at a high level. There will be less room for argument and you'll become more productive in your financial plan. So, do you share equal financial responsibility with your spouse? Start today.