Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Resolve to Regularly Discuss Your Finances with Your Spouse

The following post is as much a reminder for me as it is for everyone else.

Life happened this weekend. A sunny day in the middle of January called us outdoors. A movie night and popcorn enjoyed with the kiddos. Sunday lunch spent with extended family. And a fierce and entertaining football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos beckoned us to the TV. It was a great weekend, except for one thing: my husband and I didn't have a much needed money talk.

When my husband and I are focused on our goals, we nail them. We have proven it to ourselves many times in the past. But for the two of us to achieve our financial goals, we need to have money conversations and they need to be done regularly.

Money conversations aren't always easy to have, yet I feel that for me and my husband they are so imperative to the stability of our marriage and our home. I created our Family Balance Sheet years ago as a way for me to communicate the state of our finances to my husband. There are no surprises. What we have and what we owe is always right there in black and white...every month.

The first section recaps our assets and liabilities. The Asset portion is column B - D, and the Liabilities portion is E - H.

  • Column A = Name of Account
  • Column B = Balance
  • Column C = Target Balance
  • Column D = Difference between the target balance and the actual balance. How much do we need to save to get to our target.
  • Column E = Monthly debt payment
  • Column F = Loan balance
  • Column G = final due date of the loan
  • Column H = Interest rate or finance charge
  • Column I = Statement date where I got the balances

The second section is for what I call petty cash.

The third section is for our 2012 Financial Goals. How much do we want to reduce debt by? Do we need to replenish our emergency savings? What home improvements need to be done? Every home has different short-term financial goals.

The fourth section is for long-term financial goals, trips we would like to take, retirement aspirations, anything in the 2 year and beyond category.

To any interested readers: I will send you a FREE attachment of the Excel spreadsheet for you to create your own Family Balance Sheet. It will be blank, but have the formulas. You will be able to add additional rows if needed.

Please email me at familybalancesheet at gmail dot com and I will email you the file within 3 business days of your request.

Whether you take advantage of my balance sheet excel sheet or you use your own spreadsheet, I encourage you to meet regularly with your spouse to discuss your finances. Our next discussion is now on our calendar.

Did you make a 2012 goal to meet regularly with your spouse to discuss finances? Tell us about it in the comments.

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  1. Are y'all still doing the free attachment offer?

    1. The free spreadsheet is still available. Just email your request to familybalancesheet @ gmail dot com


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