Usually, by the time most women find me they are facing one of the two D’s – death of a spouse or divorce. Finding your way through either of these transitions can feel heavy. There is a sense of loss, guilt or even embarrassed. When the financial details need to be addressed, it evokes a variety of emotions. Many women are in the dark about their finances until they are faced with having to gather the facts and make decisions.
If you find yourself in a place where you are hands off when it comes to family finances or your husband assures that “he’s got a guy,” here are steps to take to change your role and organically become part of the conversation. You can either be a passive observer or an engaged participant in your finances.
These steps will guide you as you empower yourself to no longer be in the dark. It will not only help you feel more comfortable about your financial future but also prepare you in case you find yourself suddenly single.
In order to gain knowledge and information about your situation, it is important to create a sense of curiosity and express it in a way that empowers you and your spouse. Start by asking some general questions about the family finances. Here are a few questions to bring light to your situation.
- What does our current financial situation look like?
- What does our financial future look like?
- How much saving do we have?
- Is there anything causing you stress related to money?
Money is an important conversation that you have the right to be involved in. It may require you to initiate the conversation, but remember the more open we are about our fears and worries around money, the more connected we are. And, the more we communicate about our day-to-day finances and goals, the stronger we are united as a team.
If you have fear around initiating the conversation about money with your spouse and don’t know where to start, use these questions to get you moving in the right direction.
- What is our monthly budget?
- How much are we saving to meet our future obligations?
- How can we change our spending habits to work together to meet our goals?
As you gain more information, make sure you are gathering facts, statements, logins, passwords, account numbers and contact information for the key advisors. This will help you feel empowered. Sometimes the magic is in knowing where to look!
If you are curious how your financial personality impact your relationship with money, to kick start your discovery about your relationship with money, click here to take a quick quiz. The results will be immediate. If you are unsatisfied with your financial personality, use the tips above to help you redefine your relationship with money.
Remember, the more conversations you can have the less you will be in the dark.