Over our marriage and time together my husband and I learned a lot of lessons about how to handle money and deal with our finances. We had both never lived with anyone else before. We had little experience handling our money and getting organized financially. It’s still a work in process?
I think over the past 15 years we’ve learned a lot and made a lot of mistakes that have taught us many lessons. I know there will be more mistakes and errors in our future. I just hope we can continue to learn from them and do better.
I wanted to share one of our biggest mistakes so that hopefully it can prevent you from making it as well. For us, it was that we couldn’t figure out how to handle money together so I took it over completely. It was back when our daughter was younger and I just thought it would be easier if I handled all the money. This doesn’t work because in marriage you need be involved with your finances and not just one person.
This was a mistake for a couple of reasons.
1. It can lead to dishonesty and a lack of trust.
I felt we weren’t a team when it came to money so I wanted to be in control. Then when we went through a rough patch financially. I ended up feeling alone. Like I couldn’t share that with him so I hid it.
I wanted to feel like I could be good with the budget and money and when I wasn’t I felt like a failure. Since he wasn’t involved in the finances he couldn’t know this unless I told him which I didn’t want to do.
2. All of our financial information was under things in my name.
I paid most of the bills online and had all the passwords and login information in my head. I never thought to write it down anywhere or keep a written schedule. There hadn’t been any reason for my husband to have it.
I wasn’t keeping it from him I just did things online and I was the one handling it. Then I had my stroke and was hospitalized for a month. He didn’t know when things were due and how to log into accounts. So on top of lots of medical bills and things that were going on. We also had issues with getting behind on regular bills and expenses.
Since this time period which was more than six years ago things have changed. We learned that we don’t both need to be paying bills and doing our finances together. What we need to is have both of us to be aware of what’s going on and included in decisions.
It’s gone back and forth a few times on who does the actual paying. Sometimes it makes more sense for me to take on that responsibility and sometimes it makes more sense for him to do it. It has depended on who has more stuff going on in their life and can handle the extra job.
Right now my husband does a lot of it online. It works better for us and it’s easier to manage things online. We have learned to do things differently now. We discuss things together more and both try to stay aware of what we are paying and how much.
We talk about money more and do things more as a team and even though one person is paying the bills both of us are involved in the decisions and have access to the accounts. Talking about finances and money isn’t easy but it’s important in a marriage.
Even though we made a lot of mistakes I know we are learning and growing when it comes to handling money. Since things like health issues and tragedies happen out of the blue we’ve learned our lesson. Now I know how important it is to be involved with your finances.
Even if one person handles the majority of the work. I feel both partners need to be involved with the finances so they both know what’s going on if they needed to. Don’t get caught in a bad situation where you don’t know how to handle your finances because you were dependent on someone else or they were on you.
A great resource for learning about money and that really taught me a lot was the book Love your life not theirs: 7 Money habits for living the life you want by Rachel Cruze.