Family finances are usually handled best when one family member who is the main head of it all.
This doesn’t mean that all the decisions are made alone. It also doesn’t mean one of the spouses is powerless to have any say.
It means that the communications and decision-making pass through one point of contact. The best person to handle this is someone who has ears on the ground, checks the mail, pays the bills, manages the household.
That person is likely you.
While your DrSpouse focuses his life on being a doctor, he probably doesn’t have the time (or interest) to do all of this.
So just add “Family CFO” to the other five titles you hold.
Communication and teamwork is key to strengthening your marriage and growing your wealth. To make this work, be on the same page.
Here are five ways to loop your DrSpouse in.

1. Use Mint

Use a FREE app like Mint to import both of your accounts and track your budget and cash flow.
Even if you keep separate bank accounts, none of it is secret if you link them all in this place.

2. Use Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a FREE app and organizes all your accounts in one spot and tracks net worth.
Net worth is how much assets you have minus your liabilities — basically, what you have subtracted by your debt. Net worth is the best “BMI” indicator of wealth, far more accurate than just a salary figure.
It’s pretty simple why knowing your net worth is important: you need to know where you are, to get to where you are going.
As I mentioned, it’s FREE. But if you use my link you’ll get a $20 bonus, and I’ll get a $20 bonus, too.

3. Create alerts

Create alerts so that any purchases over $100 (or $200, $300, $500, whatever amount that makes sense for your family) are notified through either email or text.
What you may not realize is that your gym or monthly car wash is still charging you when your DrSpouse thought he already canceled them.
You can set this up through apps like your credit card or your online bank.
(While you can set it up in Mint, too, I find that Mint takes a few hours longer to notify you. I don’t want to be surprised by anything very late, I want to catch it as soon as it happens. So I don’t recommend Mint for this.)

4. Have monthly “money dates”

Schedule a monthly meeting on your calendar to discuss the results from Mint and Personal Capital.
It doesn’t have be long and painful. You can text a screen shot of Mint or Personal Capital and say, “Hey babe, we have unexpected costs and need to dip into savings” or “We are on track.”
The couple who talks about money at least monthly is much more successful at reaching their goals than those who just assume their financial vital signs are good.

5. LastPass

Are you guilty of reusing the same password for everything for convenience? Every cyber security expert says this is a nightmare waiting to happen.
It only takes one hack to ruin your life for years.
LastPass is a FREE app that allows you to store all your passwords safely in a cloud. If you and your DrSpouse should ever need your passwords if the other is unavailable in any way, the other can take over.

Review

  1. Use Mint. Track your cash flow.
  2. Use Personal Capital. Know what your net worth is so you know how long it will take to reach your goals.
  3. Create alerts. Don’t ever be surprised again by a large purchase or a recurring charge you thought you canceled.
  4. Have monthly “money dates.” The couple that goes over money at least once a month has a much better chance at reaching their goals.
  5. Use LastPass. Never use one password for every account ever. ever. ever.

In summary

As Family CFO, you are likely the point of contact for all of your finances. Be sure you know how to keep DrSpouse in the loop so you can make decisions together.

Go ahead and download Mint, Personal Capital, and LastPass if you don’t use them already, and see how it improves your marriage and communication. These are all FREE.

Taking steps to be on the same page will help you stay close to one another to achieve your hopes, goals, and dreams together.