In our financial planning practice, clients who consistently and frequently review and update their finances do much better in reaching financial objectives and arguing less about money. The reason is simple: they can determine sooner if they are off track and develop strategies quickly to get back “on plan” and feel more comfortable talking about their finances.
As a way of keeping her own finances on track, a writer for a major daily financial publication suggested to her significant other that they “meet” each month to discuss the following:
- How much money did they make? (She gets paid monthly, but he is a commissioned salesman so is paid less frequently)
- How much did they save?
- Has their debt increased or decreased?
- Do they have any unusual expenditures that they should anticipate in the next month?
That was it. She envisioned this discussion taking no more than 15 minutes. She planned to use their best money tools and mint.com to provide them with a snapshot of their finances. She closed her article by inviting readers to join her in this practice. Stating, “It’s a short, but very powerful, date. Measuring your progress is the best tool out there to assure you are on track! Happy money dating!”
If monthly seems too frequent to review your finances with your spouse or significant other, perhaps committing to doing this every six months would be more palatable. Although it can start out as a somewhat rocky meeting, once it becomes more routine and the “money date” is kept to only 15 minutes, it will eventually become more pleasurable. In the end, it IS about reducing financial stress in the household and knowing you are on target to buy that home, send a child to college or retire someday, correct?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
CCMI provides personalized fee-only financial planning and investment management services to business owners, professionals, individuals and families in San Diego and throughout the country. CCMI has a team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals who act as fiduciaries, which means our clients’ interests always come first.
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