A recent article about couples making financial management a shared task caught my attention. Like most long term married couples, my husband and I assigned that task to me early in our marriage. It was simpler for me to handle the day-to-day financial affairs and the long term financial planning because I was a stay at home mother and I had a natural affinity for it.
It’s obvious that this strategy can lead to problems…..due to many of life’s significant events – divorce, death, disability, illness, etc. It isn’t easy to change after a couple has been delegating one person to handle the finances for most of their married lives.
It makes sense to share the tasks associated with personal finance. Although it can be intimidating and overwhelming in the beginning, much of personal finance is easy. A simple way to start the conversation is by creating an asset list together. An asset list is just that – a listing of the financial accounts; it would include the mailing and web addresses, phone number, the account number, and a brief description of the asset. Passwords for online access should be kept separately.
In conjunction with an asset list, it’s advisable to also create an expense sheet. Similar in nature, it’s a listing of the bills that need to be paid including the mailing address and account number, the web address, the date the bill is generally paid, and the customary amount payable. It would also be helpful to scan a copy of the bill into the computer for easy reference. Should you do the latter, it would be helpful to have the computer file name (associated with the copies of the bills) listed on the expense listing.
There are a number of professionals who can help facilitate the conversation if you’re finding it difficult to share the household financial tasks. As a daily money manager, I often get calls from the newly widowed or divorced who need professional guidance to move forward. The LC Group can help with organization, bill pay, and budgeting, as well as providing the tools needed to create an asset and expense listing.
As always, we appreciate that you took the time to read this posting from Financially Fit in Five. It’s our goal to help you have a simple, stress-free, and successful personal financial life.