I had a great conversation with a friend the other day in which we ended up talking about finances. Finances are a tricky thing in life but especially in marriage. I know people talk about communication being key within finances, which is true, but there is more than that. Finances can become a routine, especially if you are budget driven and like a plan. For us, Conner is the CFO of our family and I am merely a steward of our resources. That is just a fancy way of saying Conner knows how much “shopping” budget I have and I do my best not to make unnecessary purchases at Target. The struggle is real y’all, especially when you find a 4 story Target.
Conner keeps tabs on what is spent throughout the month, balances our bank account, pays the bills, and gives me the status report of when to hold back in spending. And I will tell you what- I am glad it is not me. Those numbers drive me crazy.
This is our routine, and it has become the norm for us, but I never check Mint. (Mint is the way we monitor what we are spending).
Back to the conversation from my friend. We both shared in the common theme that since we know our spouses are the ones guarding our finances, we take a back seat and just trust. We have an idea of expenses and obviously are key contributors in determining the spending goals, but if you were to ask me how much our water bill is or for my friend, how much the day care costs, then we would look at you with glossed over eyes.
This made me pause. No, Conner isn’t holding anything back or hiding our spending, but logging in to Mint every once in a while or calling a family budget meeting shows that I am just as dedicated to helping with our finances beyond just showing self control when roaming around the bullseye.
I think we can become comfortable in the roles we assign each other in our relationships. I hate talking finances and avoid that portion of the family meeting like it were the latest strain of eboli, but maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should be more engaged and have weekly, monthly, quarterly check-ins on finances or other roles we have assigned each other. This can be true for the things I “oversee” in our family as well. It is nice to have buy-in from our spouse and have them know what concerns us about a specific area. Does Conner realize I have been making a shorter grocery list because I plan to have a dinner party at the end of the month? Probably not. Maybe he thinks I am just not making a good enough shopping list to keep him well fed.
Do I realize that a project we have coming up around the house is actually costing as much as it is and therefore taking away from another budgeted item within our finances? Nope.
Yes communication in terms of talking about the items is important, but I think there is a lot to be said for “check-in’s”. Call a family meeting, figure out what may be stressors or need to be communicated a little better. You will feel better after the meeting.