I’ve been married almost four years. I was fortunate enough to bring a nice financial nest egg into the marriage that I received from the sale of my families company. I’ve always tried to keep my fingers out of this pie, partly because I felt the need to earn my keep, and partly because I saw this money as a trust. I’ve used some of it over the last few years to sustain us through some times of unemployment, and I’ve given a little to charity in the past, but because the money was in good investments I still have about 25% more than I had 10 years ago.
Well, after four years I still hadn’t given my wife a clear picture of our finances. Part of this is because I was afraid she might be tempted to spend it. I was really unsure of how the knowledge would effect our marriage. On the other hand, I felt guilty hiding this information from her. If we are truly partners in our marriage than I shouldn’t have any secrets, financial or otherwise. She’s asked me a few times about ‘how much we have’, but never made a big issue of it. But now we’re in Financial Peach University. . .
Ok, to make a long story short I came clean with her today. We went into Quicken and I showed her the investments we have, as well as how much we have in various bank accounts. What a relief! I feel better because I don’t have a secret from her, and she feels like I am trusting of her. She also feels more secure knowing that we have our emergency fund AND 3-6 months of living expenses saved up.
It feels good having financial peace and no secrets. We don’t have enough to quit working, but we do have enough to quit worrying, if we use financial wisdom. Honestly, all I want is to earn enough to support my family and take a vacation every once in a while. My wife has mentioned selling our modest house and buying something smaller. It wasn’t easy opening up about our finances, but it’s one of the best things I’ve ever shared with my wife, and now she’s truly my partner.
As far as the 3-6 months living expenses, I sure hope I never have to use that. It’s sooooo good to be working. I don’t make quite enough for us to live on, but it’s close. If she gets a job or I get a couple of raises then we’ll break even. Until then we might have to nibble at the nest egg for things like property taxes and Christmas shopping.