When I ask people who the Boss is most guys just grunt and point an elbow towards their wife. When it comes to money, many blokes abdicate the responsibility of day-to-day money management and “leave it to the missus.” Whilst this abdication is common practice that doesn’t make it right. I prefer to call it for what it is – wimpy. Not being part of the financial leadership in your relationship by checking out and hoping things work out is not manly at all. Relationships are best when they operate in partnership. If you’re currently being a wimp in this area it is time to “Man Up” and step up to fulfil your role in your partnership at home.
However, accepting the co-leadership responsibility in your finances does not necessarily make you the Boss. The sad truth is many people are dictated to by their money; it says “go here, do this, pay that, no, no ,no…”
How many times have you caught yourself saying “We can’t afford that” or “I wish we had more money to do something fun”? You may even find yourself in the all too common position where your money is only spent on things you have done in the past. Be honest, is your bank balance telling you loud and clear that because you had too much fun last year there’s no chance of any fun this year? The most common symptom of this is watching most of your money disappear to pay for debt. This is what it looks like when your money is the Boss – it is your Master and you have no choice but to obey what it dictates.
We must learn to control our money so that it becomes our servant and not our master. When you can control your money so that it serves the things that are important to you, that’s how you become the Boss.
This is why operating in partnership is so vital when it comes to money management. To operate from a place of partnership you need to work hard (some harder than others) to get on the same page as each other. The most vital question to answer to achieve this is “What is important to us when it comes to money?” This question will move you from a place of abdication or friction to a place of partnership. Is this an easy conversation to have? Not usually. I always recommend you lubricate this conversation with a small amount of wine or chocolate!
The first key is to face this challenge together in partnership. When you stand together to make some positive changes it is so much easier than trying to do it on your own. (Just ask your spouse who has been struggling with this by themselves lately.) The second key is to take charge by determining what you truly believe to be important to you. Once you have a picture of this you can begin to direct your money to serve you. Is that easy? No. Is it possible? Yes it is.