Our Financial Future

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 12, 2011

The gals over at 5 Minutes for Mom have invited me to participate in a compensated campaign with Genworth Financial. This campaign is to raise awareness among moms about the importance of taking an active role in planning for their financial futures.

Do you take an active role in the planning of your financial future?

My grandparents were married for over 50 years. They owned a restaurant, travelled across the country and overseas, and raised eight children. Just before my grandfather passed away, my grandmother got a crash course in their finances, having never paid attention to any of it before. Can you imagine having to learn all about your insurance policies, financial institutions, and mortgage and refinance history, all while knowing that you are about to lose your best friend and companion of so many years? Even now, over 10 years later, my grandmother has a member of the family handle all of her finances.

I have heard many a story about a financial decision – big or small – being made by the man of the house, without including his wife – whether it be intentional or not – and it never ends well. Either bitterness, anger and resentment build, or a great divide is created – no real cohesion and harmony is achieved.

Although I pay most of our bills online, and write the occasional physical check and drop it in the mail, Ray and I have always made financial decisions – big and small – together. I think it’s important for stay-at-home (and work-at-home) moms to stay in the know when it comes to the income and expenses of her home, even if she is not the one who brings home the paycheck.

In fact, just today Ray and I met with a financial advisor and it sparked something in me. I am interested now, more than ever before, about where our money goes and how we can prepare for tomorrow. Heaven forbid anything should happen to either of us while we have young children, just knowing that we are making decisions now that can impact our future – and the future of our children and grandchildren – is incentive enough for me to stay in the know.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shana D October 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

I completely agree that women need to be informed of their finances and that all decisions should be made equally. Living in the dark, especially when it comes to money is never a good thing.
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yaniv October 14, 2011 at 5:49 am

My wife and I also take financial decisions together, so not surprised by anything in the future and plan the future correctly.
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Candice @ Fashionably Organized October 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I hold the reigns on 75% of our finances. I hate hearing stories of women divorced or widowed and they didn’t know what they had or how to handle the money. It’s so frustrating. Not only are finances important, but what about life insurance. My husband & I discuss every single money decision, down to “I’m going to buy the kids new clothes.”
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Priscilla October 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm

My husband and I recently bought a house and we recently decided to combine our bank accounts. This was a big giant step for me and it’s been a bit daunting to lay out all our finances together but we’re moving forward quite nicely.

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Kristy @ Almost On Purpose October 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Great post! In the past, my husband and I would take turns handling the finances; but that always caused tension. Now, we sit down (at least) weekly too look at where we are in the short-term and long-term. It makes our relationship much stronger and helps me feel more confident, too. I think there are even mom’s groups/clubs specifically for investments and strategies. So cool!

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Mabel's Labels Coupon Code October 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Finances are so important, yet so many of us ignore them! I have no idea where our money goes for the most part- perhaps we should start to figure that out!

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Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) October 15, 2011 at 1:24 am

Thank you Christine for sharing your experiences.

That must have been so hard on your grandmother… but what an amazing life they shared.

You and Ray are so smart to handle your finances together. Bravo!
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Kisha October 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Managing the finances is very important.. It is perfect if you are ready with anything that might happen in the future… Thank you for sharing your story…
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barak October 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

The best thing for a healthy couple is that each one of them have duties he knows to fill. and the update each other about their latest activities.
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Ruby October 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I think its better that all wife need to be informed of their finances and that all decision should be made equally. Thank you for sharing your story.
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judith October 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

Financial planning is very important especially in difficult times like today
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Rosalia October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

This narration suggests us that for any financial planning, we should also involve our family members to avoid unexpected loss. This will help us to pre-plan our financial maintenance during peak time. Good inspirational story, I shall share it!
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homeschooling programs November 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Interesting. We also found that involving the kids with our financial dilemmas helps out manage our budget, but also educate them to a mature behavior with money. This isn’t less important than math or reading to our opinion.
-Ann
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charlotte home care November 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

You are totally right!
It’s awful what you grandmother had to go through, she is lucky to have a supportive family!

It’s always better when decision are taken by both in the couple.

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