5 Money Conversations Every Couple Must Have
How to talk about the little things before they get too big
by Beau Henderson
- Create two important financial documents: the income statement and the balance sheet. You’ll need a separate sheet of paper for each, and you’ll want to begin with two columns.
- In the first column record what is coming in: all sources of money, including the regular paycheck, a monthly average of any freelance or seasonal work, and any other income streams.
- In the second column record what is going out – the expenses and bills you pay. These include fixed expenses such as the rent and miscellaneous expenses such as going out to dinner, dry cleaning, and gifts.
- Your balance sheet also has two columns and can be divided simply as What we Owe and What we Own.
- In the first column, list all loans including the mortgage or rent, credit card debt, and student loans
- In the second column, list all property including things that might still have a mortgage or outstanding loan.
- Talk about 1 year, 3 year, and 10 year goals.
- Identify what can be done on a daily basis to move towards these goals. For example, if you’d both like to own a home in 5 years, one of you might focus on putting in over-time to increase income. The other might focus on paying down debt.
- You don’t always need to increase your income in order to start saving. Take a look at the expenses on your income sheet that are not fixed – those expenses you can control. Most people can find a way to set aside at least $10 a month. Once you start doing that, you’ll find the number starts to grow.
- If one or both of us suddenly lost our jobs, do we have reserve funds?
- Are we protected against disability?
- Are we prepared for the possibility of premature death?
- In the case of a lawsuit, what do we stand to lose and are we protected?
- Does money grow on trees?
- Is it the root of all evil?
- Does high risk equal high return?
- Do you know how to retrieve important documents?
- Have you learned the names and location of investment accounts?
- Do you understand what is in the will?
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