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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Don't be a Fool! Your 'Signot' and the checkbook

Who manages the money in your household? Many of our significant others (signot) think of, and deal with, money in different way than ourselves. It's no cliche' when I say that the most important thing when it comes to couples and money is that you have the same (or at least very similar) financial goals. It's how we reach those goals that may become ammunition for squabbles.

Here are a few rules not to break (and some ideas to help) when it comes to sharing the checkbook and bills:
  • Talk about your financial goals and how you plan to save for them... write them down
  • Have a budget
  • Share that budget with your signot so they know what's up (or down) with the cash
  • Designate who's responsible for which bills, make sure someone is accountable for each bill even if its just one of you
  • Set up automatic bill pay so you don't forget!
  • If you share a checking account, set a spending limit (i.e. $50) that neither you or your signot can exceed in any one purchase without consulting the other one first. 
  • Consider setting up a second checking account just for your variable expenses (this way you know you're not spending your fixed expense money... like your mortgage)
  • Use cash allowances for both parties; this way, once the money is gone, its gone
  • Communicate throughout the month (i.e. "we only have $40 left to spend on entertainment this month... do we want to blow $30 tonight at the movies?")

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