I have recently come across many couples with differing ideas on how to handle the family budget. Often one spouse is in charge of the budget, paying bills, reconciling accounts…pretty much everything related to the family finances. And the other spouse has little say or control of the money. Some couples choose to have separate accounts and pay for certain expenses out of their own accounts.

Whatever your situation, I want to let you know how important it is to communicate as a team and make financial decisions together. The core iMoneyCoach philosophy is that money is the smallest part of your finances. Every decision you make and everything you do affects and is affected by your finances. So it is vital that as a married couple you are able to make those decisions together because they can impact your future, your dreams, your relationships…everything. Suppose you have a dream of retiring in 20 years after having paid for the kids to go to college. But one spouse decides that a yearly fancy vacation overseas is what the family needs to “bond.” That vacation may hinder your future dreams. Or those dreams may need to be altered if the family bonding is more important to you. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to talk it over with your spouse so that you can avoid big problems, miscommunications, and resentment later.

Here is a bit of advice. We all develop our views and attitudes towards money based on our prior experiences with money. While one person may grow up privileged and have a belief that there will always be enough money in the bank, another person may have grown up in a poor home and is constantly afraid that there will never be enough. These attitudes or fears present themselves in our behaviors and the decisions we make in regards to money. If 2 spouses come from very different backgrounds, it may take quite a bit of communication to not only get on the same page, but just to uncover the attitudes and beliefs about money of each spouse. In the end, though, it is worth the effort! You will find not only that you have strengthened your finances, but you will have a stronger marriage as well.

I won’t tell you today who needs to do what in regards to your finances, budgeting, pill-paying, etc. That is something you can decide. I am only asking that you make sure both spouses are involved in the finances. Give it a try and see what happens! Schedule time each week to sit down for a little bit and talk about your financial goals, spending, budget, and so on. Then come back and let me know what you discover about each other. And share with others the many wonderful benefits of working as a team on your finances!

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