Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Create budget, set goals, take control.  This is my mantra for the week.  However to do that, it means my hubby and I must have a frank and open discussion about money and goals.  It is our hot button.  After more than 21 years of living together, it is STILL a hot button.  I am practical, but love his spontaneous live in the moment philosophy.  Do you have that personality, or are you the staid practical one?  I must say, he has rubbed off on me a LOT more than I have rubbed off on him.  I enjoy a vacation where we are not allowed to cook meals, but rather eat out every night.  Of course, I am thinking about our last vacation/family trip and when with MY family we ate in and with HIS family we ate out 2 of the 3 nights.  Funny.  I do enjoy vacationing with his family and I am guessing that is one reason why.  The other being I enjoy them (topic for another week).  Wait, we might have carried in pizza one night with my family... it's been less than 2 months, you'd think I could remember. 

But I digress in this column like I avoid the topic in real life.  I have learned a few things about having this discussion in our decades of being together.  Pick a time when you are both happy and relaxed, not the heat of an argument about something else (which is why I tend to sidestep this topic, because 90% of our "discussions" about money happen when debating something else) or when one of you is stressed due to your work life (bad mommy day, horrible day at office, not good for facilitating a positive discussion).  Gather the facts in advance.  Do you have debt?  What are some ways (plural) of paying it off?  Do you have a goal?  What are some steps (again, plural) to achieving it?  Choices, as in many things, are good.  Now, perhaps, you are not the money manager in your family... I am assuming roles that may not be... it is still good for BOTH parties to know where the money is, where the money is going and what the plan is for our money life.   Find a penny, pick it up...

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