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The Financial Planner of the Household: What You Should Tell Your Family

Marriage is all about teamwork and communication, a balancing of skills where one partner picks up where the other lacks. This is why many families choose to appoint one spouse as the financial planner of the household; because let’s face it, not everyone has the patience or the mindset to take on managing the finances of an entire household. 

However, aside from managing the budget, monthly expenses, and long-term savings and investment goals, this individual is also responsible for keeping detailed records in the event that their spouse should need to take over. This is why it’s important for both spouses to come up with a plan and openly communicate with a trusted financial advisor about the family’s financial affairs. 

In this article, we will discuss reasons why the financial planner of the household should ideally educate and involve their spouse and children so that they have the financial literacy needed to take over in the event of a disaster.

Involve the Entire Family in Finances

We develop our beliefs and attitudes about money as children. Therefore, if money is treated like a mysterious and stressful thing by parents, then children will likely enter adulthood viewing finances as a taboo topic. Similarly, if children see their parents using money as a means of control via chores, or something that comes in an endless supply to buy fun things, then they can also develop very skewed financial beliefs and habits. 

A great way to involve kids with the family finances is to create family savings goals in which they can participate. For example, saving for a summer vacation—you could make a chart or keep a jar for cash savings so that the children can have a visual guide to show their progress. Take it a step further! Allow them to participate in making decisions that lead to savings like the choice between buying a new movie or renting one and then placing the savings into the vacation jar.

Take Inventory and Document

As the financial planner of the household, it is crucial that you maintain a thorough list of all account numbers, usernames, security questions, and passwords, in the event that you fall ill or suddenly die. Don’t forget to include all information regarding stocks, money markets, and other investments. 

This information should be typed and saved on a hard drive and/or printed and stored in a fire-safe lockbox. It has the potential to fall to the bottom of your ever-growing to-do list because it doesn’t seem urgent now, however, this information will prove invaluable to your spouse and children in the event of a disaster.

After you have thoroughly taken inventory and documented all critical financial information, you should keep your spouse completely and continuously informed. It can be greatly beneficial for both spouses to sit down with a financial advisor to make certain they are on the same page.

Have a Disaster Plan in Place

It can be uncomfortable to talk about the plan in the event of the death of your spouse, but unfortunately, it is a necessary (and vital) conversation. Be certain to create a power of attorney to avoid another potential roadblock down the road, while sorting out the household finances.

 Ideally, if your spouse can possess an overview of knowledge regarding the state of your household finances, combined with the thorough documentation you’ve provided, they will be set up for success

Need a Financial Ally? 

Southwestern Investment Group advisors assist you with planning your finances, including your estate, to help ensure that you and your family are taken care of. We take a comprehensive approach to your financial strategy so that you can feel confident that you aren’t doing this alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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