In a recent Money Mastery blog, How to Take and Share Financial Responsibility with Your Partner
it was noted that the key to success in taking and sharing responsibility is to hold a weekly meeting, or as we like to call it at Money Mastery, a “Money Huddle.” Both single and married people should take the time to evaluate their finances each week but if you are married it is particularly important that you hold this weekly meeting with your partner.
Marriage adds complexity to finances, so be sure not to skip this important element of personal financial management.
Here are some guidelines for holding the meeting:
- Determine the date and time each week for your meeting. To be sure it happens, set a time that works for both people at the same time each week — that way you and your partner will be planning on it and you will be sure not to miss it. You might want to choose a Sunday afternoon, for example, when both of you are relaxed. Don’t plan to do this meeting after a long and stressful day at work.
- Set a place where you always hold the meeting. This may sound obvious, but we have to remind clients not to hold this meeting in the bedroom, for instance, as this should be a “safe” place where money matters are never discussed. You can hold it at the kitchen table, outside on the patio, or in your family room — just make sure it’s usually held in the same place every time.
- Keep the meeting short. Don’t make this a cumbersome thing that you will both dread and avoid by having it be too long. We recommend you spend at least 15 minutes but no longer than 30. This will give you enough time to review how each of you did and plans for the coming week while still keeping things short and sweet.
- Remember to always practice “Instant Forgiveness” in the meeting. This is vital! If your partner has overspent in a particular category or made a mistake in the way they have tracked, or perhaps not even tracked at all that week, let them know it’s okay and that you know they’ll do better next week. Remember, you want an
understanding spouse when you mess up, right? It seems like you might be letting each other off the hook too easily with instant forgiveness, but with a Spending Plan in place, there will be more accountability and more desire to handle things properly, so even with a
mess up, things will get better if you refuse to resort to your old way of doing things, which was to argue over it. We all know, this does no good!
During your weekly “Money Huddle” be sure to review the following:
- Available income.
- How each of you have spent money over the week in the spending categories for which you are personally responsible.
- Problems you encountered with spending in any of the categories.
- Plans for the coming week.