My wife and I have been together for about 8 years now, married for closer to two years (right? :)) and I must say I’ve learned a lot from her. Today’s post is only a quick summary of what I’ve learned from my wife about financial management and why we continue to be a great financial team.
We’ve got individual roles and shared responsibilities
Early on in our dating days, we combined chequing accounts. Maybe we were both optimistic about how things would turn out or maybe we just knew. Since those early days we’ve had a great ongoing dialogue about our financial roles. I typically do the budgeting and investing and my wife is an active partner in listening and questioning my reasoning. She is an outstanding person to discuss details with, she has an analytical mind but I have to remind myself when talking about personal finance and investing this is my passion, not hers. We have a shared responsibility with our chequing accounts. We also have some individual freedom with those accounts. What I’ve learned is great teamwork can yield great results. This sounds easy but it’s often difficult to accomplish in practice. I’ve learned through a shared understanding by leveraging our strengths; we’re effective. We’re also more efficient. I only need to chat with her about all the DRIPping, buying bonds and equities low, prepayment debt privileges only every other day now!
It’s OK to splurge now and then
Life is short. I’ve been known to get too wound up and anxious over some things in my life. My wife is helping me to “let go more”. If you read my saving and investing rules of thumb, you’ll see this one is in the list. That’s because of her. Spending some of your hard-earned money once in a while is a simple pleasure in life and I’m starting to do this without losing focus on the big retirement picture. This doesn’t mean you (I) have to lose all sense of logic or practicality when splurging a bit but I’ve learned to enjoy some of the finer things in life instead of worrying about how much they cost: a great dinner with some fine wine, not on a birthday or anniversary comes to mind. There is a balance that can be had in our household budget and I have my wife to thank for that.
Simple habits can mean big savings
My wife loves to shop. My wife loves shoes. I think I have five pairs of shoes in my closet. She might have 40. That’s 40 I know about! However, my wife is quite frugal when it comes to shopping; she loves a great deal and has developed some consistent sluthing habits to seek them out. She uses brandSAVER to request coupons on household products. She waits for BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deals.
Some other online shopping sites offer other promotions that may not be so easy to find. One way to get around rummaging through websites to find promotions or coupons is to go to one or two sites consolidate coupons. Such sites will list all coupons and/or promotions being offered by a particular site and sometimes post the success rating and last use. My wife recently purchased a book set from Kobo for her eReader and saved 25% off her purchase by using one of these coupon sites. When she sees a deal, she stocks up on consumables for around the house. She uses rewards cards wherever she goes – and those rewards in terms of points eventually add up to free groceries or free gas at the pump. She rarely buys what she doesn’t need.
I could go on but you get the idea. Some great habits have been fostered over the years which enables my wife to fulfill her love and joy of shopping while saving as much as she can in the process. I’m trying to do the same and we’re trying to do it together. It makes for a great financial partnership. She just got home.
“Hey hun, what’s up?” – I ask.
“Not much, good to be home” – she says – with shoe pair #26.
What have you learned about personal finance from your spouse or partner?
Share your thoughts, send me a comment!