Are you and your spouse on the same page about money? Do you talk regularly about your finances? If not, a monthly family finance meeting might help. I know, talking about money and budgets every month doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it can be an easy and relaxed way to keep tabs on where the money’s going and communicate clearly about financial priorities.
What should you cover at a family finance meeting?
- Go over bills and credit card statements together. Discussing the previous month’s expenses are a good way to make sure you’re not straying beyond your means. Checking statements carefully can also help you catch fraudulent transactions and billing errors.
- Discuss any financial, insurance or investment decisions you need to make. Your meeting is a good time to get both of you up to speed on any insurance changes, portfolio shifts or other financial decisions.
- Talk about your financial goals and the progress that you’re making toward them. You can talk about big-picture goals as well as any small goals you’re working toward like a vacation or splurge purchase.
- Work on a simple budget for the month to come. You don’t have to make a complex budget to stay on track. Use the prior month’s spending patterns as a guide and tweak it for any anticipated expenses in the month to come.
Remember: Always be respectful and transparent.
Money can be a hot topic in a marriage, especially if you’re living on a fixed income. Holding regular meetings and being transparent about how you each spend money can help you keep the lines of communication open in your family. Many conflicts about money can be avoided simply by talking before the money is spent.