I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Marilo for over 20 years. As my childhood sweetheart, we got married young. We started with nothing, and over the years have built a successful business, had three children, built a house, moved several times, and lived a life that’s not uncommon for most Gen Xer’s.
But it hasn’t just happened. We’ve set goals. We’ve worked hard. We’ve made tough decisions – some have worked out and others haven’t. That’s life.
We have, and continue to take an active role in building and nurturing our relationship, our family, our health and our finances. Sometimes, it’s not easy.
But we’ve found that taking on specific roles in our relationship has been really helpful. We know where our strengths and interests are, and we’ve tried to put them to good use.
Let’s look at the financial aspect of our relationship, which, let’s face it, can be a challenging aspect for many couples.
Because of my skills and interests, I take on the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Not just in our business, but in our relationship and family’s finances.
Now being our family’s CFO might sound a bit silly, but I treat that role in our relationship with just as much care and planning as I treat that role in our business.
Our family and the money we earn, spend and save is a lot like a business. We produce income, we pay tax and we have expenses. We take some risks to get ahead, like borrowing to buy a home and invest, and we always have to be conscious of our cash flow.
As the “directors” of our family, Marilo and I make big decisions together and we get help from experts when we need it. And while I might guide the financial strategy (I am a financial planner after all), she always knows what’s going on and is comfortable with it.
We track and know how we are going on a monthly basis – a bit like a business does with Profit and Loss statements and Cash Flow reports.
There are emotional decisions and there are practical decisions to think about. But we always talk about the things that have a big impact, before we do anything.
And every six months or so, we revisit our family financial plan and review how things are tracking. We discuss what’s working and what’s not. Whether our goals have or haven’t changed, and we refine, improve and enhance the process and strategy so we get closer to the outcomes we’re trying to achieve.
In fact, it’s a lot like what we do here at Collins Financial Group, for both our clients and our business. We act as the expert CFO for our clients’ family finances, helping them work towards achieving goals for themselves and their own families.
So tell me, how seriously do you take your family’s finances? Do you run things like a well-oiled machine and bring in experts when you need to? Or are you more like the business that’s up to its eyeballs in debt and struggling to pay the staff each week?