Results of the First Annual Family Meeting

Late last year I read “The Family CFO.” A great book that I would highly recommend to anyone that’s married or getting married. The book talks about removing emotions from conversations about money by running your family like a business. You and your husband form a board of directors and sit down once a year to list and rank your short and long term goals. I think my husband thought I was a little nutty when I first suggested this, but it turned out to be well worth the time. I wrote up an agenda for the meeting that included the following:

1 — Review Net Worth Report
2 — Review Cash Flow Report (Earned vs. Spent)
— Discuss this year’s major expenditures (Vacation Home, Hot Tub)
3 — Discuss Disability Insurance (Pros, Cons, Costs)
4 — Discuss Expected Tax Bill/Rebate
5 — Discuss Plan for Excess Cash (CD – 1 year, 6 month)
6 — Exercise: Write & Share Goals
— examples. — retire at 50
— return to college for ?
— replace the living room furniture
— start a family
— assign a time frame to each goal (1 – 5 years, 10+ years, 30+ years)
— rank goals
7 — Discuss options to achieve goals

Here is the list of goals in order of importance…

Short Term Goals:
— Refinish kitchen floor
— Replace/Redo the bar in the basement
— Replace the front door
— Replace the dining room chandelier
— Install a scanner antenna in roof or attic
— Buy bikes for Beach House
— Clean out the garage. Remove bench. Add pegboard.
— Create & Maintain 6 month emergency fund (*completed)
— Repair Bathroom at Beach House (*in progress)

Mid-Term Goals
— Add grass around Beach House (so stickers don’t get ya) & complete grill area
— Replace the upstairs windows in primary home
— Replace the downstairs windows in our primary home
— Install drain in driveway near garage
— Create larger master bathroom at primary home
— Refinish kitchen counter

Long Term Goals
— Retire by age 50 (at the latest)
— Pay off both homes as soon as possible (free up $5400 a mo. in payments)
— Replace my car (*completed)
— Replace living room furniture at beach house
— Replace living room furniture at primary home
— Have a kid/ Buy a 4 door car for my husband
— Work part time after having a kid for 1 – 2 years

The only real surprise for either one of us was the time frame for having children. Since I’m still not healthy this decision will be naturally postponed until I fully recover from last years events. At that time we’ll bring the topic back up for discussion.

My husband and I talk about our finances a lot. So this meeting went pretty smoothly for us. But it still felt good to discuss our financial goals. When you both have the same goals saving all that money really feels like you’re attaining something. In our case, we think of money as our ticket to freedom. Freedom to enjoy our lives (without over indulging).

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