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Ask the Readers: How do YOU communicate about money?

In yesterday’s Q&A post, I shared about how I keep Mr. FG up to date on our finances (by writing up a report every month).

But today, I wanted to open it up to you all. I’m sure that we’ve got a whole bunch of relationships represented here, and I’d love to hear what works for you. What tips do you have for successfully communicating about money?

And hey, if you want to, feel free to share what hasn’t worked…you can help another couple avoid the pitfalls you’ve fallen into.

The floor, it is yours.

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Joshua’s 365 post: An announcement and a nameless picture

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christina

Friday 22nd of February 2013

together we make a shared google doc at the beginning of every month that tells where our money will go. we each enter our spendings as we go and can keep track of it TOGETHER. Equal ownership has been huge for us since we took Financial Peace last fall.

Carmen

Thursday 21st of February 2013

Interesting. We rarely discuss money. I suppose this is because we have always been fortunate in having "enough" and are also on the same page in terms of spending habits. My husband is also not remotely interested in money in general. I manage our finances on a 'needs actioning' basis and occasionally I'll approach my husband if I notice something atpyical on a credit card statement. We're fairly frugal and sensible financially; I have never gone overdrawn or had debt in my life (mortgage aside), neither has he besides a student loan. I review major bills annually to make sure we're getting good value, but just get on with it as part of my 'to do' list at the time.

SaverSmith

Thursday 21st of February 2013

Hi There! My husband and I are recommitting to our get out of debt and get our financial house in order plan. He's the spender and I'm the saver. We were going pretty gung-ho for a while there and then we had our first child and... well... we haven't done a budget in 9 months. I have continued to pay all the bills, socking a little extra at the smallest one when we can. We're having our first budget meeting of the year this weekend to reassess our spending now that the baby is here and we've acclimated to life as parents. I'm looking forward to tracking this journey and seeing how frugal we can get. When we're on track we have two budget meetings a month: One at the end of the month to try to plan for the following month and one about mid-month for a "state of the union" meeting of sorts (that one is usually the interesting one). I'm not one to spend money on myself and my husband is the exact opposite. I'm very quick to tell myself no, but I cave into his wants and often that's where our excess money goes instead of to debt. Ugh! So, I'm going to learn how to say no and stick to it. :)

Susan D.

Wednesday 20th of February 2013

When we married, I had a huge amount of debt (as in $90,000 including grad school loans) and pretty much blew all my money and paid only the minimums on credit cards. My husband was hyper-responsible and the first time he answered the phone with a bill collector at the other end, I thought he was going to have a stroke. He had no idea how bad it was. Luckily, neither one of us is a yeller or crier, so it was pretty easy once he sat down and told me how stressful it was for him to even contemplate our debt load. He designed a program to keep track of everything (on paper and eventually on computer), and also note what is tax deductible at the same time so tax time is a breeze. Then he asked me i I wanted him to run the money or me to run the money. I could not believe he trusted me, but I took everything over and have never done anything to betray that trust. Once a month we sit down and talk over where we are, what is coming up both bill and goal wise (like a vacation or having a certain amount in our contingency fund). We consult each other on all expenditures and have a very small allowance each ($15 a week) for things like a lunch with workmates. Thirty years later and we now own our home and vehicles outright, have a contingency fund of over $100,000, fully funded retirement accounts, and in June we will both be retiring---in our 50s. I shudder to think where I would have been without my husband's good communication skills, practical help like the computer program, and trust. (Obviously it helps that we both have advanced degrees and each have always earned six figure incomes. When people complain about student debt I think about how they would spend $20,000 or more on a car that lasts 5 or maybe 10 years, but don't want to put that out for a doctoral degree.)

Rachel

Wednesday 20th of February 2013

Wow, what a financial inspiration (as a ton of these comments are)... go you!!

Denise

Wednesday 20th of February 2013

we've learned having one person do it all is bad, because we're both bad at saying no to each other. so I pay bills and make most of the routine purchases. he enters all my purchases into the budgeting spreadsheet, usually while I'm in the room, sometimes while I'm looking over his shoulder. then he balances the checkbook. when he's done we both go over what's left in each category. we each have an allowance, it's been as low as $10 each for the month, right now it's $20 each. our budget sheet has quite a few micro categories because that makes hubby happy, i personally would lump several things together, but what ever!

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