The following is a guest post by Joslyn Ewart, the author of “Balancing Act: Wealth Management Straight Talk for Women“. If you’d like to submit a guest post on Money Q&A, please check out the site’s guest posting guidelines.
Financial transparency in marriage is either fairly straightforward because the couple is comfortable with one another’s financial attitudes and values, or it can become a couple’s worst nightmare because they do not understand their spouse, at all.
And like so many things in life, how to approach the experience of financial transparency effectively depends on a number of things, such as the financial wherewithal each spouse brings to the marriage, the money messages each spouse was taught, and the personal finance values of each partner.
For the purposes of the following perspective, our scenario will assume that the couple has learned to accept differences between them and values working together without one spouse controlling the other by assuming financial omnipotence in the relationship.
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Within this framework, financial transparency can be established and nourished as follows:
- Conduct regular conversations about money, pinpointing needs and interests
- Identify financial resources–your income/expenses; what you own/owe
- Organize financial documents/information and update quarterly, as needed
- Be certain there is easy access to all financial materials
- Set achievable goals: goals for saving, spending, sharing, debt, family protection
- Determine a plan for achieving your goals; consider short and long-term needs
- Prioritize the steps you intend to take
- Decide how to monitor progress toward achieving your goals
- Fine-tune your planning, if needed
As you can see, financial transparency is not an accident. It takes intention, effort and patience. But the rewards are great. Not only may the couple avoid the worst marital nightmare of financial rage, but the results of building transparency will have the benefit of nurturing financial stability, too, for the couple and their family. What could be better!
Joslyn G. Ewart is Founding Principal of Entrust Financial LLC®. Her deepest passion is to help others make the right choices at pivotal times in their lives, thereby easing financial concerns. This passion also inspired her to write Balancing Act: Wealth Management Straight Talk for Women.
She has attained the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional certifications. Learn more at BalancingActBook.com and connect via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.