Do You Know What Your Spouse Is Making? You Should.
We as human beings are so funny. We have so many personality quirks and eccentricities. We are all so different.
One of the things that makes us different from one another are our pasts and the family values we were raised with.
One of these family values is our relationship to money. This relationship can be either constructive or destructive, depending on the effect it has on the way you talk about and manage money.
That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
When was the last time you talked to your spouse about their salary?
Some of your reading this are going to say “yesterday.”
Some of you reading this are going to say “Why would I do that? That’s not really any of my business.”
This article is for those of you that fall into the second camp, because if you don’t know your money situation (and if you don’t know what your spouse is making you don’t know your money situation) you could be in big trouble if something ever happened to them.
Do me a favor. Email your spouse right now and ask them if they can email you a copy of their latest pay stub.
When they ask why, tell them you are reading an article about family finances and you just realized you weren’t really sure what they were making and you just wanted to take a look.
If this is freaking you out, then you are at the right place.
It’s time to get over that.
It’s time to start having real conversations with your spouse about money. You need to talk about where it’s coming from (how you make it), where it’s going (how you spend it), and it’s growing (how you save and invest it).
You may not believe me now, but if you take the time to have these conversations and you and your spouse begin to truly understand your finances, I guarantee you your relationship overall will get 10x better.
What you need to know
The list is pretty short and sweet, but it is critical that both of you know this information about the other:
- Salary (how much they make);
- Benefits (health insurance, retirement, pension, etc.); and
- Investments (where and what form)
Pretty short list right? But until you know this information you and your spouse are swimming in dangerous waters.
Take some time right now, put a meeting on your calendar for the two of you to talk (get a babysitter, go to dinner or drinks, or somewhere you can talk) and get all of this money stuff out on the table. You’ll be glad you did.
P.S. Do you have kids? Have you completed guardianship paperwork? Have you done it correctly? Click here to find out what happens if you don’t do anything: Are you okay with a judge choosing the guardians of your children?
P.P.S. Do you own a business? Do you have a plan so the business, and your family, can survive if something happens to you? If not, click here to learn how simple it is to protect your business and your family from tragedy: 5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Catastrophic Failure.
P.P.S. Do you have no kids and think you don’t need an estate plan? Single and think a will is only for married couples. You couldn’t be more wrong. Click here to learn more: 5 reasons estate planning is a must have even if you don’t have kids.
Christopher Small is a Kirkland estate planning attorney who helps people get rich and live forever. He is also the owner of CMS Law Firm LLC.