Family Financial Advice
What to do if you and your husband can’t agree on finances
You’ve probably been in the situation…
You see a financial issue that concerns you and your family. Staring you right in the face. Ugly and scary, crying out for you to do something about it.
But somehow, your husband doesn’t seem to notice.
You might love your husband to death. And he may be one of the smartest people you know. But with certain financial issues, he just doesn’t seem to get it.
If you’ve ever felt in this situation, this article is for you. We’ll cover the financial advice you can give your own family.
Financial disagreements happen all the time.
In this article, we will first examine the three types of disagreements that you and your husband might have. We will cover why your husband might think a certain way.
Next, we will cover the three key solutions that can help you and your husband come to an amicable conclusion. Remember that you and your husband are a team. And the better you to work together, the better your financial outcome will be.
Finally, we will take a step back and examine how to prevent disagreements in the first place.
The Three Types Of Disagreements
Whether your family is dual-income or single-earner, financial disagreements tend to fall into one of three categories.
1. The Disengaged Husband
“Do whatever you’d like, honey. I’m good either way”
Husbands who are disengaged tend to ignore important financial issues.
You may try to bring up important topics, such as saving for retirement or having children. These are extremely important things to consider since they can affect your old quality-of-life and lifestyle for decades.
But somehow your husband’s always seems to shrug his shoulders and nod his head. It’s not that he doesn’t care about you. He just doesn’t prioritize the issue at hand.
Learning to work with a disengaged husband can be frustrating. You may give you the ability to control family finances, but there always seems to be very little buy-in from him…
2. The Focused Husband (but focused on the wrong thing)
Imagine your house is just caught fire, and you have one minute to save your most precious items. You rush to gather as much of your valuables as possible, scooping whatever you can find to bring with you.
Your husband, however, picks up just the fishbowl and heads for the door. Just one item. The whole house may be burning, but as long as his goldfish is fine, he doesn’t seem to care.
We’ve all had coworkers or friends like this. The entire world may be burning around them. But as long as the ONE THING is okay, they don’t seem to care.
It’s often frustrating. You may see the bigger picture of budgeting, saving for retirement, and saving for your children’s college tuition. Your husband, on the other hand, might be laser-focused on just a single topic. Often, this is a stock portfolio or a piece of real estate. But no matter what it is, they seem to spend 90% of their time focused on that single item to the detriment of all else.
3. The Overbearing Husband
“Don’t worry honey, I’ve got this…”
The third type of disagreement is with a husband who takes total control of your family financial well-being but never seems to do a very good job.
Bills might get forgotten. Savings may get misplaced. Yet husbands like these never seem to ask for financial advice.
In fact, these husbands often don’t even realize how badly they’re mismanaging parts of your family’s finances.
This is probably the most dangerous of disagreements. One where your husband believes he’s doing a great job but in fact has certain deficiencies he can’t see.
So how to give someone like this any financial advice?
Solutions To The Three Disagreements
No matter which type of disagreement you and your husband have, the solutions you need fall into two general categories.
- More involvement. Get your husband to care more about financial issues
- Better care. Get your husband to ask for help when needed
1. Get Your Husband More Involved
You and your husband are a team. In both the “disengaged” and “focused (but on the wrong thing)” types of husband, the greatest hurdle is getting your husband to become involved in the financial planning and budgeting process.
It’s often tempting to simply do it all yourself. You might come up with a full financial plan and budget for your family without any input from your husband. But if you have been in any relationship, you know that this approach doesn’t work well.
That’s because you and your husband are a team.
Trying to dictate unilateral terms is like booking a family vacation without asking your husband where he wants to go. You may enjoy yourself to a degree, but you’ll always feel as if your husband is simply tagging along to entertain you.
How to deal with disengaged husbands: “It’s Important To Me”
The #1 method I suggest you use is the “it’s important to me” method.
The method works as follows: take a calm evening, and sit your husband down. Hold his hand and look him straight in the eye. And then say the following:
“[Insert financial issue] is important to me because ____________. And I would like you to work with me on it because it will make me feel better“
Once your husband understands how important something is to you, he will naturally care about it too. Even if not for his sake, he will do it because he loves you.
Often, I find that disengaged husbands don’t even realize they’re stressing their spouses out. They believe that giving their other halves the freedom to manage money is a good thing! Telling your husband that he should care resets this dynamic.
2. Get Your Husband to Take Better Care
Often, husbands might spend a lot of time on finances, but never seem to get a good result.
I have seen countless families fall behind on bill payments simply because the husband forgets to open the bills at all! You may have plenty of money in the bank, but your credit score might suffer simply because your family forgets to submit payments.
This can be extraordinarily frustrating for organized spouses.
How to get your husband to take better care
The best way to help your husband take better care is for you to become involved in family finances. Even if you don’t know much about finances or investing, you can always learn. No one is born with the innate ability to manage money. Everyone started at some point.
Or hire a financial advisor
Hiring a professional advisor can also help your husband take better care of family finances. These are professionals whose primary role is to help people manage their families financial well-being.
Many husbands may resist at first. “Don’t worry, love. I know what I’m doing.”
But just like auto repair and home renovation, hiring a professional for financial advice can bring better long-term results.
You can always hire a financial advisor, yet reject their conclusions at the end. Make sure your husband understands this: you’re not taking away any of his independence by hiring a financial advisor. You are simply finding someone who can help steer your family in the right direction.
How to prevent disagreements in the first place?
If you want to avoid financial disagreements, the #1 proven method is this:
Have a good financial plan.
With a good financial plan, you reduce the possibility for miscommunication. Each party knows their roles and responsibilities. Also, having a predefined set of budgets and expectations is good practice in the first place.
How to create a clear financial plan?
If you and your husband have some knowledge of investing in finance, robo-advisors and other online tools can be a great place to start. This is especially true for couples without children yet. Your situation tends to be much simpler to manage.
2. Hire a financial advisor to help
As your financial situation becomes more complex, it can make sense to hire a financial advisor. You will still be involved in the process, but a good financial advisor can help you walk through the more complicated issues.
There are many aspects of financial planning that most people don’t know. Issues such as taxation, estate management, and tax-advantaged savings can save families tens of thousands of dollars a year. And ask most people “how much you need to save for retirement?” and you will get an unclear response at best.
A financial advisor can help bring clarity to these issues. Financial advisors are also experts in helping families come to a peaceful resolution to financial disagreements.
Financial disagreements with your husband is a natural part of any relationship. It’s healthy to have different viewpoints.
However, sometimes you might occasionally encounter disagreements that you simply cannot agree on. In these cases, you should seek financial advice to break the deadlock.
Few things are more important than your financial well-being. The knowledge that you will never run out of money in retirement, and that you are living your fullest life possible. Mistakes in financial planning might not show up for years. But their effects will reverberate for decades. So if you and your husband need solid financial advice, it’s never too early to ask for help.
How can we help?
If you’re looking for advice about your own finances, you can contact us for more information. We at Jurnex Financial Advisors are asset managers who specializing in helping families and individuals navigate major life changes. If you want to get started in regaining confidence over your wealth, book a meeting with us today and see how we can help.