Financial lessons learned from my wife

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!

15 Responses to "Financial lessons learned from my wife"

  1. Mark, where I come from there is a saying that “God is not a farmer or a craftsman, because his job is to match men and women and bring them together.” Although some of the meaning is lost in the translation, you understand what I mean. Having the right partner by your side is your best asset in life. I don’t know where would I be today without my better half. Also, I don’t play the lottery, because I already won (by marrying my wife!) : )

    As for sharing financial wisdom, I am the mastermind in the household. I have taught my wife much about investing but she also learns on her own. What I’ve learned from her is to follow my dreams and never give up.

  2. When my husband was alive, he was a great sounding board for investment and savings ideas. However, it was me that handled all the investing.

    I agree that you have to splurge every once in a while.


  3. I am very fortunate to have a wife that has always been responsible with her money.

    It makes things so much easier because I make virtually all our major investment decisions and handle what many may view as boring things like wills and insurance policies. She knows what’s involved, and I love the fact that she lets me blog at very weird hours of the day.

    My wife also loves shopping, but she doesn’t go haywire looking for luxurious items, and is always looking for deals. She loves to buy shoes and clothes but she never goes overboard with it. I’m the type of guy that still wears clothes I had in university but I do like to splurge on things like food and entertainment. I like going to a restaurant for a nice meal with my wife followed by a night at the movies. I think it’s good to splurge from time to time, but within reason.

    Nice post!

  4. I feel the same way, my wife helps me let go a bit and not be so uptight about our finances. She only really cares to be involved in the day-to-day spending, which is fine…I can handle the investing side. As long as our goals align somewhere along the way…

    1. @Echo,

      I think that’s very important, letting go. I love investing, saving, etc., but then again, life is so short and you really need to find your own balance and enjoy the ride. Like TWC, sounds like you have a great partner in life. Great stuff.

      Thanks for your comment!

  5. I would agree with your central theme here. Teamwork can yield fantastic results. Two minds almost always work better than one.

    My partner also encourages me to splurge every once in a while. Life is extremely short, and it’s definitely a good idea to enjoy yourself while still keeping an eye on the big picture. My splurge this month was a big sushi dinner earlier in the month. Although it was more than half my usual food budget for an ENTIRE MONTH (at $110), it was very enjoyable and worth the money. It was a great night out.

    Keep up the great work, and it sounds like you have an excellent teammate/partner there!


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