Entrepreneur’s Wealth Digest
Most of us feel like we are on the same page with our spouse about money. How sure are you? How would you score yourself on these three questions, ranking them from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree)?
My spouse and I talk about finances regularly.
My spouse knows our personal financial numbers well.
My spouse and I rarely disagree about finances.
These questions are not random. They show how you feel about the three key components of financial alignment in a relationship. If you and your spouse can consistently do all three of these key components, you will stay in alignment:
Talk about your wealth regularly.
Make sure information about money is packaged so that both parties understand it.
Disagreements are infrequent and always addressed.
We include these questions as part of our Live WealthFULLY self-assessment, because a lack of connection is difficult to quantify, but we always know how it feels when something is out of alignment. If you mark yourself in the lower end of those three questions, meaning you would mostly disagree, how can you get more connected with your spouse on your finances?
Here are four steps:
Create time for conversation.
Review the information you have today and what information you need in the future.
Get clear about what is important to you that you both understand about your finances.
Set up the next conversation.
Create time for conversation
In our post on clarifying your vision and values as family, I recommend adding some fun elements to deepen connection time with your spouse. Go to a fun coffee shop and get your favorite pastries. Make it part of a nice dinner out. Open the really good bottle of wine that you have in your wine rack at home. Whatever it is that you really enjoy together while you chat, make that part of the conversation. Doing this can help turn something that potentially feels like a chore into a fun mini-date.
I typically recommend catching up on finances quarterly, but customize it to what you need. Maybe that is monthly or every six months, but I would use those as your guardrails for frequency. You want to make sure that you bring your laptop or phones to be able to access financial accounts and any records you keep specific to your personal finances. If you work with a financial team like Entrepreneur Aligned make sure you have your login information for your client portal and any projections or reports produced by your financial team.
Review the information you have
Start with what you are each bringing to the conversation today. Do you have custom reports or a dashboard that you want to review together? What accounts do you want to log in to and review together? What about reports from your financial team or tax projections from your tax team? Where are there gaps or things that don’t make sense for one or both of you? Add those to a list for the step below. Some of the easy-to-address items may include things like access to the credit card login information. You can also work on setting up dual receipts for statements from bank accounts, mortgages, insurance bills and invoices.
Get clear about what is important
Again, I covered the deeper elements of getting clear on vision and values as a family, and if you have not gone through that process, I would start there. When we think at a more tactical level about money and finances, we are talking about understanding the information you have and the information you want. What are your expectations for each other in terms of awareness about your finances? What accounts or reports will you each review? When will you notify the other person about a spending decision or big movement in money? Setting clear expectations means that you are both on the same page and can trust each other to honor those commitments to being involved in your personal finances.
Set up the next conversation
In this moment of meeting together, you have momentum to take the next step. Use that momentum and set up your next check-in conversation, whether it is a few weeks or a few months in the future. If you are just starting this journey of getting more connected with your spouse on your finances, I would err on the side of meeting more frequently than you think you may need to in the long term. So, maybe set up your next check-in for a month in the future, and book the cool new restaurant you have been wanting to visit. Even better, book childcare and set up the weekend away at a fun place. The more you can invest in time and connection together with things you enjoy, the easier it is to take some of that time and connect on your finances as well. Whenever you can, do not leave a connection conversation without setting up the next one.
Connecting with your spouse on your finances is not about reading all the credit card statements line by line. It is about ensuring that you are on the same page and in alignment with where your wealth is being used. Following this process keeps you connected so that you and your family can live your remarkable life.
If you have a financial planning question or need a good tax planning resource, we are here to help.
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Disclosure: Jarrod Musick is an officer of Destiny Capital and Entrepreneur Aligned, a DBA of Destiny Capital. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for your investment, business, or personal financial decisions. We recommend consulting with your wealth advisor, CPA/tax advisor and/or attorney, as applicable to your situation, prior to implementing any new tax, legal, or investment strategy.
Jarrod was born into financial planning and solving financial problems. With his financial advisor father Steve telling stories about finance around the dinner table from an early age, the idea that everyone has a different financial situation was always there. After an early professional career spent in nonprofit and government, Jarrod came back to his roots helping people plan and invest in 2011. Since then, he has worked with individual clients, led internal teams and ultimately became partner and the CEO of Destiny Capital in 2017. With a passion for helping entrepreneurs change the world, Jarrod ultimately oversaw the creation of Entrepreneur Aligned in 2020. With both Destiny Capital and Entrepreneur Aligned, Jarrod leads teams that help people live lives of abundance where money is simply a tool to let everyone be a positive force for the world around them. When he isn’t working with the talented teams for EA and DC you can find him chasing his twins, wily trout or a podium spot at an OCR race.