The goal: Dedicate 1 hour a day, for 7 days, and improve the health of our finances.
Hour 4 (00:00 – 60:00)
Discuss short-term and long-term financial goals with my spouse –
Where would we like to be, financially, by the end of the year?
Where would we like to be, financially, in five years?
When would we like to retire?
Should we consider increasing retirement contributions?
Should we consider getting out of debt?
Would either of us like to go to or go back to college?
Would either of us consider a change in career paths?
Are there areas where we can spend less, save more, and be happier?
Once or twice a month, my wife and I will sit down to discuss our financial goals. Usually, we will go over our monthly budget, making sure that we are on track, and then we’ll talk about our future. It’s amazing what these conversations have done for our marriage. The best thing about these meetings? We only have to talk about money once or twice a month, for maybe and hour. After that, we are free to focus on the other important things in our lives.
Over the course of this week, I’ll write three more articles about improving the health of our finances. Each article should take just a few minutes to read, and the steps outlined should take about an hour to do. Depending on the health of your finances, you might be able to breeze through the steps in just minutes – or it might take you much longer, if things are in need of repair. My goal, however, is to keep the steps to a minimum, and to make them as easy-to-follow as is possible.
Consider Hour 4. If you will take the time to do all of the steps outlined above, you’ll have a clearer understanding of your spouse’s hopes for the future, created concrete financial goals for the next year, and established a precedent for talking about money. And, you will have accomplished all of these things, in about an hour!