Sunday, 7 January 2018

3 Tips to build a Happy Family Finance Relationship

Everyone has different styles in managing their finances. So, is it possible for a couple to use finance as a way to strengthen the family relationship? Well, through our own experience, we hope to share with you the 3 tips to build a happy family finance relationship:

Listen more, Understand better, Involve each other

The key to a successful relationship is active listening. This means to listen and fully understand the other party before giving our own 2-cents worth of thoughts. In order to be on the same page and develop a happy family finance relationship, we should always strive to understand each other’s expectations and perspective towards finance. In our case, I used to assume that my wife was not keen to listen to my views on investment and finance. But I soon realised that I was wrong. I gradually found out that all my wife had wished for, was for me to bring her into my financial chain of thoughts instead of just sharing with her the outcome of my analysis. Basically I should get her more involved in the financial planning phase. It was only when we thoroughly understood each other’s financial expectations that we were able to have very frank conversations about how to move our family finances forward. From then, we finally came up with common financial goals to work towards together. As the saying goes: happy wife, happy life :)

Simplicity is bliss

Sometimes, the greatest joy can be attained with the simplest of things. When it comes to cooking, my wife and I always look out for value-for-money ingredients and then put our creativity into use by coming up with different interesting and varied dishes. This “joint venture” in cooking has certainly brought much joy into our lives. Similarly, rather than going for movies or visiting places with admission fees, we usually choose to get closer to nature (e.g parks and beaches) or spend our time together in the museum. The key thing for both of us is to be able to spend quality time together doing things that we enjoy, without burning a hole through our pockets in the process. Being financially prudent does not mean that we cannot live and enjoy life to its fullest.

Create a joint family financial record!

Are you at a loss as to how to monitor the progress of your family financial goals and to plan the cashflow to address future needs?

Well, if you have attained success with the first tip (Listen more, Understand better, Involve each other), the next step could be to think about creating a joint family financial record. To those who are new to this term, a family financial record might sound complicated. However, there is no fixed formula to adhere to for this type of record and it could be a simple one that caters to the needs of the couple. For instance, some couples might want to just keep track of their income and expenses at regular intervals while others might want to note down key family expenses so as to ensure there is sufficient funds set aside. It all boils down to what the couple wish to achieve from this joint effort.

You might be wondering what the benefits of going through all the trouble are. Well, a joint record helped us to create financial transparency and thus built greater trust and strengthened the bond between us. Furthermore, a joint financial record will often result in both parties having a shared responsibility in keeping track of the family finances. Finally, this record can also be used as a reference point to build towards shared family financial goals. No more financial shocks at the end of the month! J

I hope our 3 tips have been useful to you. Feel free to share with us your tips and experiences too!

Mr & Mrs GoHuat

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