Mrs. Widget has not always been too excited about personal finances. Not a big deal, it just does not interest her as much as it does me. The important part is we are both on the same page with respect to our financial goals and approach. Lately though, I have been able to get her more excited about our personal finances. How did I do it? Simple, I showed her the future.
Before we get into that though, let’s examine why you would want both people on board with respect to personal finances.
There are typically three scenarios that household finances follow. Both partners are heavily involved, only one is, or no one is. Only the last one is always negative. One person running the show is fine as long as they are executing a financial plan that both people are on board with.
It is so important for both partners to be on the same page with how they are handling money. When two people are counteracting one another it is extremely difficult to move forward. Sort of like running up a down escalator. This can only go on for so long until the person running gives up.
Things can really move forward though with both people walking in the same direction. The momentum generated can be quite addicting. Debt gets paid off and investments are made. It is pretty much rainbows and candy all day every day. Ok, maybe not quite but you get the point.
I happily take on the task of planning the finances in the Widget household. I mean, I created a blog so that’s something. Not that Mrs. Widget isn’t interested in finances, she is just very busy running many of the other aspects of our lives. Her job is also a lot more demanding than mine.
Still, I wanted her more involved in our finances so she felt like we were both working towards goals for the future. Speaking of the future…
Show Them the Future
To get Mrs. Widget more excited about our finances I decided to show her the future. No, we did not hop in the DeLorean and go see what our futures looked like thirty years down the road. The DeLorean is only used for emergencies.
I merely showed her how we could reach a point in the future where we would be able to retire or work other less demanding jobs. Once she heard that she would not need to work her stressful job for a long time, she was hooked.
To be able to watch the kiddo participate in whatever activity she chooses or travel whenever we want is one of our biggest goals.
Knowing my wife, I knew I couldn’t just sit her down and have a conversation about finances. She is interested, but once I start talking about different investment options she starts to glaze over. Not that I blame her, I am not great at making finances exciting.
So what is the best way to get her involved without boring her too much?
To keep her interested, I created a presentation for a financial summit at the beginning of the year. I included a 2017 year in review that had the details of our yearly income and expenses. It was easy for her to see where our money was going and where we needed to improve.
A 2018 outlook was included as well, complete with net worth projections and expected big expenses (oh hey childcare). We also created some goals real time that we wanted to achieve over the year. Go team Widget!
It wasn’t all finances, I also included pictures of our most memorable moments of the year as well. Baby Widget’s arrival was definitely the highlight! It is important to remember what life is really about, and nothing is more important to us then good times with loved ones.
Life can be very busy and that makes it hard to stop and think about how decisions being made today affect us down the road. It is important to find a way for both people to be involved in financial decisions and be on the same page.
How sad is it that the future is now the past in Back to the Future 2?
Reader’s: What technique have you used to get your partner involved with your finances? Was it easy to get them on board? Have you noticed positive momentum since getting on the same page?