WEEKLY MONEY SITCH
The first money memory I have is telling my dad that I had 99 cents. Know what he did? He gave me a penny. What??! I had 100 cents! After a quick lesson on how many pennies in a dollar, I felt on top of the money game.
I was about five years old. And that was one of the few times I felt that confident about my money skills.
I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on money – Far from it! – but we have learned a few things along the way. I thought today I would share one of the best things that has worked for Darren and I in recent years in the realm of money.
For all of our marriage, I have been the one to make sure all the bills get paid and paid on time. It works out well for us to do it this way. The problem we have always had though, is talking about money. It can be the worst. I don’t think we are alone in this.
For the first several years, the only time I would update Darren about money issues was when we needed more of it, and usually fast. Not a good conversation to have.
We tried several ways over the years to communicate about money better, but we kept striking out. We tried having money dates (not even the slightest bit fun), and we tried money conversations after the kids went to bed (boring and we usually fell asleep before we got too far). What we discovered was that money conversations were stressful and we just got into some bad habits of avoiding them.
We needed something simple, and easy to do every week.
Which is how the weekly money sitch was born.
I always pay the bills the same day every week and have a great set-up for tracking how much money we have and what we can pay when. (We use YouNeedABudget). What if when I was done, I let Darren know what I did? I could send him a quick email, using the same format each week, just plugging in the new numbers. It would be super easy to use and take 5 minutes, tops, to fill in all the info. It worked – and it has changed everything!
Here is what I include in the weekly money sitch email:
- Bank account balances
- The date we get paid this week (We have opposite pay schedules)
- Things that have to get paid before we get paid again
- Running total on two rewards credit cards and when the cycle ends (we always pay these in full every month)
- Debt balance and amounts paid (the last two student loans)
- Anything unusual on the horizon (like paying taxes or buying plane tickets)
And when those dang student loans are paid off, it will be even easier!
This has been a money game changer. We both know exactly where we are, we share the burden of being responsible (neither of us can claim we think we have more money than we do), and we both enjoy knowing we are being good with our funds. We also get to celebrate together as we see debt balances fall and drop off the list. Love that part.
No more boring, un-fun, stressful conversations about money! I send the weekly money sitch out, Darren replies that he has seen it, and we move on. Woohoo!
There is so much good info out there about how to spend money, how to save money, how to invest money, how to pay off debts, how to make more money, and how to use money wisely. I thought I would throw this idea out there to offer up a way that has worked wonders for us in talking about money.
How do you have money conversations? Is this even an issue for you? Let me know in the comments!