How Long do You Spend on Your Finances Each Week?

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How Long do You Spend on Your Finances Each Week?

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"We should go over our finances for the weekend," my wife said to me.

She was absolutely correct as it was Friday night and we typically go over the general state of our finances, as well as our spending plan for the weekend on Thursday night.

Our financial discussion was a day past due.

"Yeah, I've got some work to do on that before we can go over it, though."

I could tell by the tone of her voice in her response as well as the look on her face she was annoyed. She thought I was avoiding talking about finances. The reality was, it was also payday which meant the start of a new bi-weekly budgeting cycle and the following things needed to be done:

1.) The checking account had to be reconciled from the past week

2.) Bills had to be paid and entered into account register

3.) Monthly financial informational spreadsheet updated

I got to work, and completed the above tasks in about an hour. 

I then called Vonnie to the kitchen table to go over the income coming in, and the bills going out. This entails her getting out her giant sized calendars and writing the information on the appropriate days of the week so that the data is in a form that she is most comfortable with. 

After that, we built our spending plan for the weekend, leaving us both feeling comfortable about being on the same page with our finances.  This process took another hour.

After two hours of looking at bills, online banking information and spreadsheets, I was ready to be done.

On Sunday evening, we again sat together at the kitchen table. With my financial worksheet displayed on my laptop, and Vonnie with her gigantic calendar, we reviewed our spending for the weekend. We updated any information necessary and then reviewed any spending that was going to occur in the coming week.

This discussion went much faster, clocking in at about 30 minutes.

All together we spent about two and a half hours discussing out finances. Our discussions on non-payday weeks are a little shorter, but it is a fairly accurate representation of how long we discuss our finances each week.

How much time do you spend on your finances each week?

Related Links:

Communication: We've Come Full Circle

Gradually Improving Our Finances Over Morning Coffee

Sick of Talking About Money!

 

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc.Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the following link;

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  • We have the official budget meeting on paydays, so twice a month; however we talk about money almost every day, it has become our hobby haha. If we need new parts for our bikes or a small item from a store we tell each other so we can make sure we have the money available in the discretionary spending budget. I also reconcile the check/debit card register almost every day. I spent years not paying any attention to my account balances so I suppose I am over compensating, but it makes me feel better. An added bonus to constantly reviewing our accounts, it keeps us super informed about all balances ALL THE TIME!

  • I am humbled by your 2.5 hours. Our budget meetings are too sporadic. My husband in particular finds it painful to devote time and energy to all the details. And yet I'm sure that there is nothing more important for the success of our debt-reduction than to set aside time to plan and review our budget. Hmmmm . . . Somehow, we've got to improve in this area.

  • Honestly, I probably spend about 30 minutes tops a week. I track our spending (categorise transactions right there in online banking), pay bills, transfer funds.

  • @saracarr - I think I've made this observation before, but we seem to have similar perspectives and methods when it comes to our finances, Sara....is it, maybe because we went through similar experiences with a debt management program and learned similar lessons?  Hmmmm, I think so!!  It feels so GREAT to be informed and on the same page with our significant other all the time, doesn't it?

  • @Prudence - To be honest, it took much longer because it was a payday week - and even for a payday week it was a little longer because we have some special things coming up - BUT, it's not that far off.  I view it as much like exercising - if it's a priority, you gotta make time for it.  Finances didn't used to be a priority for us, and we all know how that turned out!

  • @NZMuse -  You're much more efficient than we are, LOL. Awesome job, keep it up, and thanks for sharing!

  • My hubby has no interest in the finances, no matter how hard I have tried to encourage him.  I spend about an hour a week, by myself, and then talk to hubby about any issues I see.  I also ask and encourage him to let me know of things he may need for his hobbies, or to work on the house, so I can set money back for those things.  I'm happy that he's comfortable with me handling the finances.  He did it for a while, and had no retirement account, a lot of credit card debt, and would forget to pay the electric bill...  If anyone has suggestions on getting a spouse interested and/or involved, I'm all ears!

  • We spend literally 10 minutes a week.....I email The Big Guy a screen shot of our Mint budgets so he can see where we are at in the month, and do a quick overview of any problems or good things.  He responds back with any questions and then we're done :-)  Very interesting to read all of these responses, though

  • @SassyMamaw - it's unfortunate that your hubby isn't interested in being a part of the process...I remember you leaving a similar comment on a different post (maybe on one of the other sites I write for).  Not sure if you read my response there (I can't seem to find it now...) but my suggestion was to put together a "one pager" of your expenses and put it somewhere that he would see it - kitchen table, next to the toilet, or on the bathroom counter.  Somewhere he's sure to be spending a minute or two and see it...he can glance and absorb a little at a time.  over time, you can add info to it... :)  Thanks for following over here and reading!

  • @retiredby40, WOW, you're efficient.  Maybe you could come over and teach me a trick or two?? :)

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