Friday, October 6, 2023

I really should learn the ins and outs of our household finances

Throughout the 31 years of our marriage, Terry and I have had very clear-cut roles when it comes to money.

For all 31 years, my job has been to make it.

For the first five of those years, her job was to make it AND to figure out how to spend it wisely.

Since 1997, when she quit her job at Lincoln Electric to stay home full time with our growing family, she has served as Chief Financial Officer while I have continued to manage Accounts Receivable.

This system has worked well as my income has grown steadily over three decades and her skill at managing it has risen proportionately.

I have only the vaguest idea of our family budget, when and how she pays the bills, and what her overall approach to finances really is.

I'm in charge of long-term planning (i.e., building a retirement next egg), but the rest falls on her.

Which is great, except what if something happens to her? In addition to being one of the worst things imaginable, it would also leave me as a grieving husband poring through statements and spreadsheets to get a handle on how things work money-wise at 30025 Miller Avenue.

The problem, when one member of a couple is especially good at something, is that the other person often leaves the job entirely to them and is thus completely in the dark when tragedy strikes.

In past generations, it was usually the husband who handled the money and the wife who was kept out of it.

I'm not being "kept out of it" by any means, but the roles are clearly reversed in our relationship. I'm sure Terry would love to sit down with me and go over everything, but...well, you know, I have blog posts to write and games to announce and apples to eat.

Finding time to learn something as important as how my wife keeps the lights on and the cars from being repossessed somehow takes a back seat to the JV football game I have to announce.

Maybe I should rethink my priorities.

No comments:

Post a Comment