Initiating the conversation helps you stay engaged about your money
In my previous post, I discussed three reasons why you should talk with your significant other about financial matters. In case you missed the blog post, you can read it here. In this post, I would like to focus on how you can initiate the conversation.
Here are three tips for starting the conversation with your honey about money:
- Schedule a “date” to discuss your finances-Regardless of who is responsible for paying the monthly expenses, it is important to periodically schedule a time to meet with your mate to talk about where you are financially.
- Monthly-review your income and expenses to determine if you are on track to your spending plan. You can easily keep track of this type of information by using a personal finance program such as quicken or mint.com.
- Quarterly-Review any 401 (k), IRA and brokerage account statements. Also, check your progress to your goals. For example, if you are trying to pay down debt or achieve a savings goal, it will help keep you motivated to see that your are making progress.
- Annually-review your strategy to see if you are on target to reach your goals or if adjustments need to be made. If you are working with a financial advisor, schedule a meeting.
- Make a list of financial items they need to know-If there was an emergency, would either of you be able to locate your important financial papers? Or, have a handle on the family finances? Make sure you are both protected financially in case something happens to one of you. Create a financial folder with a list of financial items they need to know (i.e. account numbers, contact information, insurance policies and brokerage accounts, etc.).
- Schedule a meeting with a financial expert-If you and your honey can’t seem to see eye to eye when it comes to finances or the process seems overwhelming, it may benefit you to seek professional help. A CFP® professional can help you:
- Identify and set realistic goals and objectives.
- Evaluate your current financial situation.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to meet your financial goals.
- Implement your plan.
- Monitor the plan to help you stay on track to meet your long term financial goals.
Being proactive with your significant other when it comes to talking about money not only helps you grow together financially but it also will help you both gain more confidence in your ability to achieve your long term goals.