I’ve just come back from a fabulous SpouseBUZZ Experience. I got to meet many cool people, and give a little talk with the lovely Scott Halliwell of USAA. Some people asked about balancing financial issues when only one person has an income. Regardless of the situation, I think there is a certain key: working like a team.
In basketball, (woot! woot!), the person who gets the ball from the other team isn’t always the person who gets to make the shot. Once the team has the ball, it moves around and there is communication between the players. Each player must share and work together to make sure there is even an opportunity for a shot to be made. When the ball makes it in the basket, it benefits the whole team, regardless of who put the ball there. You’d have a pretty lousy team if only one person ever touched the ball, or if the players weren’t using their bodies, faces and eyes to send each other signals. And a foul hurts the whole team, not just the player upon whom the foul is called.
In finances, it is the same. It doesn’t matter who is making the money, both partners need to be playing on the same team. Money coming in is like gaining possession of the ball. Money management requires that all the relevant players touch the ball, and that they communicate. Good decisions and bad decision affect the whole team. Individual screw-ups affect the whole team, and everyone wins when finances are handled smoothly. A balanced budget, good savings, and long-term goals are all part of a winning game.
Sharing money is hard for some people. Sometimes it takes a variety of explanations to help them understand why working together is good. Perhaps this athletic analogy will help you work with a husband or wife who doesn’t want to share. Let me know!