This is the first entry in my Frugal Friday series. I received a lot of e-mails and comments when I talked about going to halftime work to change the quality of our lives and wreak focus on health. People wanted to share money saving tips… But I think paying attention to the money side of your life is more than just saving money.
So for our first Frugal Friday I will start where we started, which is with a good housekeeping and a good foundation.
Shortly after Jason and I moved in together, I was recommended a book to read. I think it was from Janelle, a good practical friend of mine who just happens to be in accounting. It was called “Smart Couples Finish Rich,” which is a horrible title.
Despite the greedy sounding title, the book actually was not about getting rich at all. It’s about values-based planning, and getting both sides of the relationship on the same values so that you can make purposeful decisions with your finances and your lifestyle decisions. It’s probably worth Jason and I going back and rereading some of the sections!
The book has you both talk about what is really important to you in life, and which lifestyle decisions you are making support those values and which don’t. Then you plan your finances accordingly.
Now, Jason and I fight about things like any other couple, but one thing we rarely fight about is money. I credit working through this book, and getting our ducks in a row, early on in our relationship. The book also has you get the administrative side of your relationship in order as well. Such as organizing life insurance, finding out if your parents will need support in their old age, organizing your medical coverage and tax files, etc. These are not exciting things for me! But it needs to be done.
Since then, I have turned all the filing over to Jason. But the point is that we had common understanding in the beginning and now we tweak and make decisions as we go along, such as how much disability insurance to carry.
So my first recommendation is this: by “Smart Couples Finish Rich.” I have given it to several couples as a wedding gift, and I hope some of them have read it too!
Of course, if you don’t have to buy the book. It’s probably available at your library. However, be prepared to sit down as a couple and do some work from it. No work, no progress!