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Financial Questions for Husbands & Wives

The following is a list of financial questions that my husband and I regularly discuss. These questions help us focus on our goals and ensure that we are both on the same financial page.

  1. What is our monthly take home income?
  • This can differ for my husband who gets paid by the hour.
  • How much are our monthly expenses? Do we have any big purchases in the near future?
    • We discuss everything from property taxes, mortgage payments, repair bills, to IRA contributions and charitable contributions.
  • How much do we want to save each month?
    • This may be a specific dollar amount or a percentage of our income. It also differs depending on the expenses discussed above.
  • How much money do we have in our checking account right now? How much in our savings account? Brokerage account? 401(k)s? Roth IRAs?
    • Watching over these details ensures we don’t overextend ourselves and that we stay on target with our financial goals.
  • How much money do we need in liquid assets to make each of us feel safe?
    • We currently strive to keep six months of assets in a semi-liquid or easy to liquidate form.
  • What kinds of purchases must we jointly agree upon?
    • Over the years we’ve decided that all home and car purchases must be discussed. Personal items like clothes and food usually don’t require discussion.
  • How big of a purchase can we make without consulting the other person?
    • Usually anything over $200. For us this is really more about the type of purchase than the amount of money.
  • Who currently pays the bills? Is that working for us?
    • My husband, God bless him. He has a great attention to detail and journals all of our monthly expenses. Most of our bills are paid automatically or through online banking services.
  • Who does the long range financial planning? Is that working for us?
    • I do, although I have thought of getting one-time financial advice from an expert. As we add new retirement accounts it’s difficult to ensure our investments are still diverse.

    One Frugal Girl

    Saturday 13th of January 2007

    I totally agree. I am always fascinated when friends tell me they don't talk about money with their spouses. In an open and loving relationship I don't understand why people are so afraid to discuss money.

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    Friday 12th of January 2007

    My wife and I talk lots about many of the things you have on your list. If a couple doesn't talk money and can't agree on goals then I think they are asking for trouble down the road. Great list.

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