I’m going to share a personal F up that could have cost us our house in the hope that it can stop you from making the same mistake.
My husband’s car registration had expired. He was driving with no registration and no greenslip (insurance).
Apart from the fines he could have faced, if he had an accident we could have been personally liable which meant we could have been sued and lost our house.
Now did I know when it was due ? Yes because we use the My Money Buddy Program which lets us sets up reminders for our bills.
I had reminded him quickly in passing and then I forgot about it.
How did this happen ? See we both run business and get busy with life and this one slipped through the cracks. You know how it goes you feel like you are juggling 1000 things – working long hours, trying to exercise, meal plan, make time to see family and friends, do the washing, mow the lawn etc
What we have now implemented to ensure this doesn’t happen again is a Financial Date so we can discuss money matters regularly. We each run businesses and have a business plan and hold weekly meetings with our team – that’s how things stay on track and get done. So it occurred to me we should apply this same philosophy to our home and hence we introduced a financial date.
What do you do on a Financial Date ?
We have our financial date at the same time each week and it lasts for around 15 -20 minutes. I like weekly because I found it was easier to get into a routine / habit this way plus if we missed one it’s not the end of the world as it’s only another week before we meet again. In each financial date we cover:
- how we are tracking against our budget (we use the custom My Money Buddy software that lets us see how we compare to not only our budget but other couples as well)
- what bills / registrations are coming up for the next month eg licences, kids sports etc and assign who is going to pay them
- any expenses that you need to be reimbursed for
- who is responsible for ringing up and negotiating one of our bills eg mortgage
- confirm the goals you are working on how you are tracking to them
Benefits in having a Financial Date
There are so many benefits we have found from having a financial date including:
- Just feeling more in control
- Ensuring we are still working on goals that are important to both of us
- Letting us know if we are off track with our spending and helping us question if we are still getting value from our subscriptions
- But above all else it means we are sharing the financial responsibility. So often just one person in a relationship can be lumped with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role in the house and it can be a burden and you can start to resent having to do it – I know I did.
Now if you are single I still recommend a financial date because it’s easy to let this money stuff slip except you just have a table for one.
I can hear some of you groaning – I don’t have time for a weekly financial date. I hear you but 15 minutes a week can save you many thousands a year and that’s a pretty good hourly rate !
Pro Tip: I know the idea of a finance date can seem boring. The trick is to try and make it as fun as possible – maybe play music in the background, have a glass of wine, a coffee, your favourite snack etc. You could even start the meeting on a positive note by sharing one thing you are grateful for.
If you would love to learn more wealth hacks then why not nerd out with us in The Savings Squad where we have a financial book club, regular challenges, guest speakers and a whole heap more cool money stuff.
The information (including taxation) provided in this blog is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice and consider the Product Disclosure Statement. The author, Adele Martin, is a Certified Financial Planner at Firefly Wealth which is an Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429. The views expressed in the blog are solely those of the author, they are not reflective or indicative of RI licensees’ position and are not attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the author.