Fellas, I know it’s helpful (and easier) to let the lady in your life handle the household finances. Many men often are so focused on working to provide, that they are relieved to allow someone else to handle the finances. I have no problem with this – I believe couples should do what works for them. I do however suggest that men at least have monthly financial meetings with your mate. Not only looking at a notebook with the monthly expenses or a spreadsheet, but actually looking at the paper statements or the online accounts. It’s important that you see the ACTUAL numbers!
I have heard any number of stories of tragic financial situations that occurred because there was no accountability for the mate. Not because they are devious or purposely doing something behind their mate’s back, but sometimes it gets overwhelming. This is when things slip through the cracks and bills stack up, etc. etc.
For instance, I’ll tell you about ‘Craig’. A hardworking man, with a loving wife, Renee, who handled all the money. For years it ran like clockwork but somehow, one year, the property taxes on the house got behind. Renee didn’t remember how, maybe a relative needed money, maybe an unexpected bill came up – it’s foggy. She didn’t tell Craig, thinking she would take care of it, move some money around. Well, the money to move around never showed up and the next year’s taxes didn’t get paid either.
By year three, the taxes still weren’t paid, they were in danger of losing the house and Craig STILL didn’t know. Poor Renee was in a panic, she felt so bad she took up an extra job trying to ‘handle’ it….. Yes, eventually she had to tell Craig, he was furious, but did he really have a right to be? He had not asked any questions, he had not helped her manage the money to remove some of the pressure. Don’t get me wrong, Renee should have told Craig as soon as there was a sign of trouble. But, instead of the two of them working together, Renee pretty much made all the financial decisions. In the end they both ended up working extra hours and making arrangements to keep the house and he began helping with the monitoring of the finances.
If one of you pays all the bills that’s fine, but both should be in the know. It is better to work through unexpected financial issues together, you must be accountable to each other. This provides strength and solidarity in your relationship and finances. When I got married, initially I handled all the bills, when my schedule got even more hectic, my husband took over. No matter who does it, we both have passwords to all the online accounts, see all paper bills (if we want, hubby hates paper lol). When we email each other the bill list – it’s in detail of who is owed how much and when it’s due… not just a lump sum amount of what is due for the month. This is on top of our monthly budget discussions.
How Men Should Jump In
So, guys, if you haven’t been active in the finances, how do you ‘jump in’ without getting the side-eye? Just have a conversation. Tell your mate that she’s been doing a great job and you would like to start having monthly meetings just so you are always caught up with what’s going on.
PUH-LEASE don’t say something nuts like….’I just wanna make sure you aren’t doing anything crazy with the money’. I would foresee much more than the side-eye coming your way after that! Try to choose the same day and time each month – one that is distraction free for about an hour.
Definitely read #MoneyChat THE BOOK with your loved one, do the action steps and to-dos in each chapter together – it will definitely help take your finances to the next level!
Here’s to Changing Your #MoneyChat!