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Want to know what my most important financial tool is? What do you think? Budget? Emergency savings? Cash flow statement? Financial planner? Nope, none of those. My most important financial tool is my wife! Let me explain.
We're On The Same Page
My wife and I talk to each other about our financial goals and discuss our finances frequently. We talk about how we are going to achieve our goals and work together to implement our plans. Maybe most importantly, our goals mesh together so that we can both work toward the same things. We're a great team!
We Trust Each Other
I suppose it should be a given that marriage means we trust each other, right? But you hear about couples where one spouse goes crazy with spending while the other tries to reign it in. That's not the way it is with us. We trust that the other one isn't going to go on a wild spending spree. When one of us wants something that costs a bit we make sure the other knows about. This way there are no surprises when credit card bills arrive or when we look at our savings accounts.
She Keeps Me Grounded
I try to stay frugal and conscious of my spending but sometimes the bug hits me and I want to go out and BUY! I'll get all obsessed over this or that that I tell myself I need (Honey, we need to buy Rock Band!). When I mention it to my wife (remember, we don't go off on big purchases without the other knowing) she'll bring me right back to earth quick. See, it goes back to trust (and respect). Because I trust my wife's opinions, I'll listen to her when she tells me I'm being silly. It goes both ways too. We both help to keep the other on track so we can realize the goals that are truly important to us.
She Zigs When I Zag
We both attack out finances from different angles and work off each others strengths and cover for our weaknesses. My wife is awesome at keeping track of day to day money. She's always looking at our bank account to make sure we're on track and can cover our monthly expenses. I, on the other hand, am better at the long term goals like retirement plans and college savings for the kids. When a big expense comes up I'm better at understanding things like interest terms and maximizing our money while my wife can realistically see if we can afford it or not. Working together, we cover all our bases.
She Gives Me Financial Purpose
Back when I was a single guy I had some financial goals. I wanted a house, and a family and be able to retire, but those goals weren't concrete. They were more like something that would be nice to have but I didn't do much about them. Being married to my wife and having a family, those goals are now real. Not only do I want a house but we're acting on the goal to make it happen. I want to retire and I can now imagine my life in retirement with my wife, traveling and living it up. The two of us inspire each other to be the best we can for ourselves and our family. I can't fart around any more, spending on a whim hoping my goals happen. I have a family to take care of (and they take care of me). I have real reasons to make my goals happen; I have focus!
So you can have your spreadsheets and budgeting programs. Take your cashflows and your expense reports; all those iPhone apps that track your spending. They're all good but nothing beats my number one financial tool: My Wife!
Photo Credit: Kjunstorm