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The Importance Of Financial Teamwork

The Importance Of Teamwork

Recently my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Another year to be thankful for who I’m married to and the wonderful family that we have. For a marriage to thrive, there has to be give and take and a great deal of teamwork. I got to thinking about the importance of teamwork when it comes to household finances. After seeing some other people’s failures and successes, here are a few suggestions.

Get On The Same Page

Talk about financial goals with your significant other. How much do you want to save per month for retirement? Do you have enough in the emergency fund? Review the monthly budget if you have one and find out areas that you can improve. Celebrate your successes. Envision together what life will be like 20-30 years down the road. Are you saving enough for that retirement lake house? Maybe you would rather stay in your home area and just retire at a young age. It is important to talk about these things so you can work together in unison.

I’m incredibly fortunate that my wife is thrifty and believes in keeping costs down when possible. She doesn’t need to spend $100 per month on her hair or have to buy new clothes every other week. In turn, I try not to spend foolishly on electronics and gadgets that turn into junk after a year. Since we both work we are able to save a good percentage for our retirement and our son’s college plan. This would obviously not work out as well if one or both of us were excessive spenders. We pull the rope together instead of ‘tug of war’ against each other.

Joint Bank Accounts

I’m a firm believer that married couples should have a shared bank account. A joint account is easier to manage and provides a transparent picture into the family finances. According to this recent article, 42 percent of couples maintain individual accounts. In fact, in the small team I work with, two individuals stated to me that they have separate accounts from their spouses. Ironically, while the one person said it works well for them, the other team member routinely vented about her husbands spending and that she didn’t know what money was going in and out of his account. They are now recently divorced.

The separate accounts were far from their main problem but it was an example of their individualism versus teamwork with a shared purpose. Perhaps if they would have had one account, they could have held each other more accountable. Or, their relationship might have went to heck sooner. Hard to say and irrelevant now anyways. Maybe deep down they knew things weren’t going to last so they wanted to keep things separate for an easier break up. The key point is to be open and honest with your spouse.

Stay Involved

Both ‘heads of the household’ should be involved or at least very aware of the monthly transactions. What bills are coming in the mail? Which are automatically deducted? When do paychecks get deposited? Know the websites and logins to view investment accounts. This is an area that needs some improvement in our life. I do the majority of the finances (which I enjoy) but if something were to happen to me, I can envision the frustration in figuring that stuff out on top of everything else that would be happening. It would probably be wise to construct a summary of accounts and instructions on how to proceed should the worst happen. Businesses have succession planning and disaster recovery procedures, home finances could be operated the same way.

Readers- Do you have any other suggestions to improve financial teamwork?

6 Comments

  1. It is a tricky dance as there is usually one person (me) who gravitates towards paying the bills, tracking spending and viewing the graphs. The other person (my wife) is really just interested in getting the high-level summary about once a month. This works for us. In fact, I’m not sure it would work if she was as obsessed with it as I was. We would just drive each other crazy.

    I like the idea of putting together a succession plan. I will definitely do that just so my wife knows how to access all the accounts and what they are for.

    By the way, I like your blog theme 😉
    Grant @ Life Prep Couple recently posted…Never Finance: Always Pay Cash For CarsMy Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      June 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Haha thanks, I was going to mention that to you as well (regarding the theme)! Sounds like we have a lot in common with fitness and finance interests. Always great to meet like minded individuals. Thanks for stopping by again!

  2. I’m a big fan of having monthly or even quarterly meeting to talk about investments, bank accounts and goals for the future. I’ve seen too many couples that put their head in the sand and then act surprised when they aren’t on the same page. Communication is definitely the key to a successful marriage in my opinion 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Mortgages 101: What You Need to KnowMy Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      June 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I totally agree about the communication. It is so easy to go on “auto pilot” and let things coast. It really helps to talk about these things so it is fresh in both minds. Thanks for stopping!

  3. Thanks for sharing! We have shared accounts as well. But I’m the money guy in our household. She fully trusts me and the good thing about our situation is that it’s not a burden for me. I REALLY enjoy this stuff, so I’m kinda a natural fit for it. Whereas for my wife, she doesn’t even want to think about finance. We converse about the big stuff though, not that she wants to, but I want to. I also don’t need to nag her about her using money because she’s become fairly frugal over the years. It’s a win win!

    • Mr Defined Sight

      August 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Yeah I realize not everybody loves finance like we do. It’s important that there is at least one person who does though!Thanks for commenting!

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