One thing that I’ve learned talking to lots of couples about money is that there isn’t one right way to manage your household finances.
Some people like things to be all together in one big pot, some have only a vague sense of what’s in the other persons bank account.
The one thing that the ones who are happy with their joint financial lives have in common is they talk about money a lot. It’s not a taboo topic of conversation, and it’s part of the regular discourse in the house.
This week I wanted to share with you three different couples taking about how they manage their money. These recordings are from the podcast Because Money which I host with a couple of friends.
We’re not a terrible diverse bunch. We’re all straight and white and half of every couple is a financial planner… but even in this sliver of the population there are lots of different ideas.
Mimi & Chris
We’ll start with this episode of my wife and I talking about how we manage our money. Things have changed a bit (they always do), but we definitely didn’t have joint finances. What we did have was a joint idea of what we were trying to do… and lots of conversation.
- 3:15 – the long (and stupidly complicated story) of why Mimi pays more rent than Chris
- 9:38 – Managing money with a partner who makes a bunch more money than you do
- 14:24 – Why it bothers Chris to not be able contribute as much as Mimi…
- 16:31 – Digging into how we grew up financially…
- 20:02- How dating Chris helped Mimi become a better saver
- 26:13 – Do we give each other advice?
- 29:07 – Planning for career transition and what’s ‘retirement’ for a couple of opera singers?
- 35:20 – The stuff that we don’t have to talk about
- 37:09 – We talk about whether we’ll even change the system
Sandi & Seth
Next up is one of my co-hosts (and dear friends) Sandi and Seth talk about money a lot, and it’s interesting to hear about how they manage that. Of course Sandi lives in the world of personal finance and they spend a lot of time together, so we have to grade that one on a curve.
And just to underscore how much there is no single right answer, we’ll hear how their money systems have changed over the years to suit their lives (like having kids) and as technology evolves (like YNAB).
- 7:23 – How do you guys do money?
- 10:57 – Who does what in the Sandi/Seth money system?
- 16:09 – How often do you talk about money?
- 18:01 – How do you talk about buying big stuff?
- 24:57 – How do you talk about longterm financial planning?
- 28:35 – When do you want to retire? If ever?
- 30:29 – How do you guys invest?
- 32:37 – How do you guys talk about money with your kids?
- 40:35 – The Seth and Sandi dream vacation
Owen & Susan
Owen is another advice only financial planner and he graciously agreed to sit down with us to talk about he and his wife manage their cash.They’ve got young kids and have their money communication strategy down cold. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
You can find more about Owen’s financial planning startup PlanEasy here
- 5:30 – Owen and Sue’s amazing, incredible, all powerful money meeting
- 12:10 – What changed when they had kids?
- 15:15 – Why Sue budgets in a Word Doc (and Owen DOES NOT)
- 25:03 – What would Owen and Sue do with a surprise $3,000?
- 26:10 – How do they figure out what’s ‘fairsies’?
- 32:50 – What’s the advice you would give to other couples managing their money