ESTIMATED 2MIN READ
Communication is key for young families as they start to work on building a solid financial foundation.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to handling finances in a family. The arrangement that works for one family could be disastrous for another.
One example of conflicting strategies that different families use is the use of bank accounts. Some folks like to keep finances segregated by having separate accounts for separate people whether they be for a parent or a child. On the other hand, some families benefit from fewer moving pieces and operate out of one master bank account.
A family of fiercely independent people might not be able to get by with one master account. Having the ability for each family member to use the funds allocated to them as they see fit is more important than simplicity in cases like this. Another frequent divergence in the handling of finances is the bill pay process. Some families divide and conquer when it comes to paying the bills and some designate one person to have that responsibility. What it boils down to in my mind is designating your family’s financial responsibilities to be handled in a way that allows individual members to capitalize on their strengths. I run across many situations where one person in the family is best at budgeting while another person has strengths in other areas and this is ok.
My wife and I are expecting our first child together in November.
We are very excited to grow our family and we know that extra financial stress will be a part of the deal. We are preparing for that by communicating about every little detail that we can. We talk about budgeting, we talk about changes to income, we talk about inflation’s impact on our living expenses, etc. etc.
We have already been on the same page about our finances since before we got married because we communicated about finances early and often. We shared what we thought reasonable and prudent spending looked like. We share our previous financial struggles with each other and we shared our strengths and success stories as well. We put our minds together and came up with a way to run the household finances that gives us peace of mind, covers our needs, and gives each of us the flexibility that is reasonable and prudent in a healthy financial plan.
Make sure you prioritize communication with your spouse in your financial planning process.