Saving Money, Top 10

Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 6 – Work Together

Number 6 – Work Together

A good friend of mine owns a two-person pedal boat.  The last time I got in the boat, my nine year daughter and two of her friends hopped in the boat with me.  As you can imagine, I did most of the pedaling.  By the time we circled my friend’s pond and arrived back at the dock, I was exhausted.

It can be tough trying to go it alone, feeling like you are the only one working to get out of debt and save money.  If you want to succeed, you have to develop a plan which allows you and your family members to work together.

Talk With Your Spouse

Let’s face it.  If you are reading this blog post, then you are, more than likely, the person in the household who handles most of the financial paperwork – paying bills, filing taxes, balancing checkbooks.  As such, you probably feel overwhelmed, from time to time, with all of the responsibility you have.  If so, take a few minutes, maybe over a quiet dinner, to talk with your spouse.  Don’t argue, don’t condemn, don’t blame, just talk.

I’ve actually written a couple of posts about this subject –

How I Avoid Arguing With My Spouse About Money and

Is It Really Possible To Talk To Yur Spouse About Finances Without Getting Into An Argument

Talk With Your Kids

I have three kids, ages 9, 4, and 6 months.  Obviously, I have a different conversation with the 9 year old than I do with the 4 year old, but they both know that we “honor every dollar” that comes into our house.  If you are heavily in debt, and worried, some of that worry is bound to rub off on your kids.  Be reasonable.  Don’t put more on you child than he or she can bare.  At the same time, be as honest as you can and let them know that you – and the whole family – are working hard to save money.  As kids get older, let them in on, little by little, to the realities of family finances.

Here’s a post I wrote a few months ago –

5 Ways To Teach Young Children About Money

Become A Team

As corny as it sounds, when my two older kids get in an argument, I take both of them by the hand, and walk them to a quite place in the house.  Kneeling down, to their eye level, I remind them that we are a team, and that we have to work together.  The same holds true when it comes to managing family finances.  The entire family has to be moving, together, in the same direction, like minded and determined.  As an adult, you can cultivate a good attitude if you celebrate victories, those big and small.  If your daughter receives a twenty dollar bill at Christmas, teach her how to save a portion, give a portion, and spend a portion.  Let her have some freedom, but also teach her some responsibility.

Find Your Role

Do what you do best and let your spouse do what he / she does best.  Support one another.  I like graphs, charts, spread sheets, and calculations.  So, in our family, I do most of the paperwork.  My wife, she’s more of a people person, so she handles a lot of the human interactions – calling doctors, insurance companies, etc.  This works for us.

Here’s a more in depth look at the subject of family roles

How Free Spirits And Money Nerds Can Help Each Other Out

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6 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 6 – Work Together

  1. Excellent advise. My daughter and wife drive me crazy sometimes, and I often feel I’m waging a one-person war to bring down costs. As money has tightened the past few months, though, I’m suddenly sounding very sage. 🙂 Working together is important for financial success on soooooo many levels. Thanks again.

  2. I think you’re right, personal finances should not be the worries of only one person in the household. I often feel like I don’t know what the family financial situation is in because we don’t really talk about them. I wish we could because I’m sure it will make me reconsider a lot about how I’m using my money. Plus, I think talking about finances can relieve some of the stress it causes because it’s not bottled up inside one person.

  3. That all works, but I saw this financial crunch coming from a distance, and have not taken a wife or had kids. I’m doing pretty well. 🙂

  4. My husband and I work together. For years he would write the bills and balance the checkbook and I would just look at the final number. Now I pay the bills and log each one and he still balances the checkbook. This way we both know exactly where we are.

  5. In the past year three men I have known passed away leaving a wife in utter financial confusion because they both were not involved in their finances. This can work both ways man to woman or woman passing..but the end result is there is a spouse left not only to grieve but to be worried and scared about finances, keeping the home, etc. The women had to not only suss out what their assets and liabilities were but what income is left for them to have a quality of life. Fortunately, my sister is a whiz when it comes to settling estates, insurance, social security benefits,etc. and has been teaching these women how to move forward but many don’t have this type of resource. The lesson is both spouses must know in entirety about the family financial position and be ready to take over in the event of illnes or death.

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