Marriage and Family Tips: Financial Involvement on Both Sides

In wedlock, there is usually one person who is responsible for managing the finances of the family: paying bills, savings accounts, budgeting, etc. Often, the other spouse even does not know very much about the financial state of their family. As long as he or she can shop as usual, there would seem to be no problem. However, this approach can backfire especially if some problems arise in the family’s finances. Blaming the problems on one party would not be fair. For better money management and family bonding, involvement of both the husband and wife is important. Here are some tips you can do to get your spouse involved in your family’s money management.
1. Hold regular financial meetings – Discuss your spending and saving activities with your spouse regularly. Once a week is an ideal periodic schedule. During the meeting, you both will review the budget, consider new purchases, expenditures and income, and adjust them to suit the balance report.
2. Decide the budget together – Once a month, it is important to agree on the family’s budget together. Generally, a family will have a fixed budget that is more or less the same every month. However, you or your spouse may have certain unusual needs he or she would like to plan to do in the next month. Taking input from both sides in this case is central for making financial decisions for your family.
3. Take turns in paying bills – If previously your husband or wife is the only one who handles the bill paying, sharing the responsibility is very beneficial. You can do it by taking turns paying the bills once in a month (e.g. you pay the bills this month, your spouse does then the next month) or you can delegate your spouse to pay some of the bills while you do the others, thus splitting the task.
4. Let your spouse manage some area of the budget – Although working together, one spouse will still be a “leader” in the family’s management. This means that he or she will have a larger responsibility in managing the budget. Sharing the burden won’t hurt at all. Let your spouse entirely manage one or more of the budget categories.
5. Be transparent in using financial software – Often, a husband or a wife use specific software to record the family’s financial records such as savings, spending, and budgeting. Sharing the password will permit the other spouse to log into the account and the resulting transparency is significant. Not only can he or she learn about the family’s financials, he or she can also determine the budget for the family.

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