The Reward of Working Your Married Finances as a Team

by Kevin on January 18, 2010

First I asked if your spouse was a financial teammate or an enemy.

Then I showed your three major risks to living with a financial enemy.

Today I show you the sunny side of marriage finances.

The Reward: Successful Marriage Money

Great things happen when you work together as a team. When your spouse is headed in the same direction you are… look out! You’ll take the financial world by storm.

A great teammate will…

1. Increase Your Happiness

I’ve got to be careful here. Money won’t make you happy.

But a spouse that works with you on your finances? That’s going to turn out well. You won’t be arguing over money. You won’t be stressing about your latest set of purchases.

You’ll have support. You’ll get along.

You’re working together as a team. When that happens everyone wins. Everyone is happier.

2. Help Clarify Your Goals

No one knows you better than your spouse. They can help you identify what exactly you really want to accomplish. Or they can help you identify the things your truly enjoy spending money on. This allows you to maximize your value and enjoyment on those activities while brutally cutting back in other areas you don’t treasure.

Maybe this example will help you explain it better:

Some of you have interests that are narrow and deep. You have a small handful of hobbies you enjoy. In those hobbies you go deep. You’re the person that has all the latest and greatest. You’ve got accounts at multiple internet forums to discuss a hobby.

Others have interests that are shallow and wide. You like to try lots of new things, but you’re not in deep in many hobbies. This isn’t bad — you just like to try lots of different things.

Generally I am a narrow and deep kind of guy. Occasionally I start to lean more into the shallow and wide category. I get a rush and want to try a bunch of new things.

A recent example from me personally. I got interested in Macbooks. I’ve never owned a Mac. I’ve always looked at them as products that cost double what they should. You’re paying a marketing premium with Macs.

But I figured before I made a final determination that I should buy one to try it out. My wife got wind of this and we had a discussion about what I really needed a new laptop to do. In the end I couldn’t swallow the added premium to own the Mac product and I bought a Dell at an affordable price.

That discussion helped remind me that I didn’t really want to jump in with both feet into the Mac world. Doing that would be expensive — especially if I didn’t end up liking Mac laptops.

3. Work With You Toward Success — Financial and Otherwise

In the third point of my last article I told you that if your spouse is a financial enemy they will tear down your financial efforts.

Instead of burning a lot of energy fighting over money you can point that energy toward being successful. You have healthy discussions of how much money should be spent on groceries in the budget rather than having a screaming match because one spouse spent an extra $5 unexpectedly.

The true gain of working together is this: once you set up your budget and learn how to automate your finances you can focus your energies on other tasks like building a career, starting a business, or just relaxing.

That’s where the real joy kicks in. Money doesn’t take up a majority of your thoughts. The money is taken care of. It happens, it goes in the budget, it goes out to various categories, and it is spent. You’re not fretting on overdue bills and whether the mortgage has been paid yet. It’s covered.

* * *

Stay tuned. In my next post I will show you how my wife and I have run our finances since before we got married. I hope you can read what I have to share with you to see that you truly can work together as a team.

I may even share the story of how I put her on a budget when we were just seriously dating…

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