Apr 17, 2012

Marriage & Money: Be a Team

A friend of mine is going through a difficult time right now - her marriage is on the rocks, and while there are many reasons why, the big one that comes out every time we talk is money and the fact that she and her husband have lived well beyond their means for years at this point.

One thing that strikes me is that it's impossible for them to tackle their financial problems right now because they're not doing anything together. And I realized that all of the "we did it" stories I've read about couples who've achieved financial success have one thing in common: They did it together.

That's certainly true in my own life. When I wrote about becoming debt-free except for the mortgage, I used the word "we" to describe the steps we took. And while I mostly handle the day-to-day money management for our household, we make decisions together. For example:

We agree to live beneath our means so we can save money.

We discuss decisions that involve spending larger amounts of money, like the kids' summer camp.

We set priorities together, and work toward a mutual goal, such as paying for private school.

In the last few years, my husband and I have paid off all of our non-mortgage debt, established a comfortable emergency fund, and positioned ourselves so that I could take a huge pay cut to work from home. None of these goals could have been achieved if we weren't on the same page, working as a team toward the same goal.

So the lesson of the day is: Your family's financial success requires everyone to work together as a team.


Kate @ zMOMbie.com said...

My husband and I are a good team, too. We are currently non-mortgage debt free and we're in the middle of a refinance to shorten that pay off. We hope to have the house paid off in 12 more years (instead of the 26 that are left). Major rejoicing on that day.
A post I made about how our budgeting works for us.

Chief Family Officer said...

Sounds like you're doing great! I'm with you on the rejoicing - hoping for it in five years here, but I'm not sure it's going to happen!