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Last week we had certified financial planners Brian Preston and Bo Hanson on the show sharing their thoughts about couples and finances.
I thought that had some fantastic nuggets on what couples can do to strengthen their marriage and grow their wealth, but there was one point of theirs I’d like to highlight today.
They both mentioned repeatedly was how important it was to them to have their wives well aware of their family’s financial situation. I’m a big believer that couples can’t afford to be in the dark. It’s too much of danger to their relationship and their money.
In today’s episode I share how you two can get started with your own money reviews.
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Love & Money
It’s not the most romantic or exciting thing to do, but here are a few big reasons why it’s so important.
- Keeps both of you in the loop with your money.
- Helps you identify any changes you need or want to make.
- Should something happen to one of you, your spouse will be better prepared to deal with it.
With those benefits in mind, I want to help you two get ready for your own year end review. If you haven’t taken a financial snapshot or haven’t talked about it, now’s a great time.
While you can certainly dig deep and wide with the numbers, I’m going to suggest that if this your first time doing a review, to keep it simple.
Run the Numbers
The first step of course is getting the balances on all of your accounts – assets, debts, and so on.
We love using Personal Capital as they have some free investing tools that help us manage our retirement accounts easily.
It may take 30 minutes to an hour to get everything uploaded and compiled, but from now on, you’ll have easy access to those numbers and you can sign up to get regular updates sent to you.
For the year end review, print out a copy for each one of you to mark it up any way you want.
Talking About the Numbers
Looking at the big picture and the numbers, you may notice a few things you’d like to talk about.
Here are some ideas to start you off:
- How has your bank been treating you?
- How are your checking and savings doing? Have you met your goals?
- How did your portfolio do this past year? Have you stuck with your long term plan and asset allocation or do you need to make adjustments?
- With your family situation, are you comfortable with your insurance coverage?
It’s fine if things aren’t exactly the way you want – you can just add them to your family to-do list. Pick one or two items from it and update one another during next month’s review.
Want to get started? I have the links and templates available too help you two.
- Financial Snapshot & Budget @ Budgets Are Sexy
- FLOP: Financial Life on One Page @ Christian PF
- E.O.D. Deluxe Budget 3.0 @ Enemy of Debt