If you’re like most people the thought of another meeting makes you cringe.
I’m going to share with you a meeting you should be doing that you won’t find in a business book.
The meeting I’m talking about is with your spouse.
I’ve always found it interesting how business owners are careful not to miss meetings with their key employees to discuss vision, mission, and strategy but then they let family life happen by chance.
If anything, we should have more intentionality with our families, not less.
I used to think getting ahead financially was all about the Xs and Os or strategy.
It wasn’t until I learned the following that I was able to make great strides:
- Regular communication with my wife about our finances could not be neglected
- My wife had fears and concerns as well as hopes and dreams that I needed to understand
- Once I got married, my life was forever changed (not a bad thing). Making decisions without considering the impact on my family was a recipe for disaster
Enter the Family Meeting
It has evolved over time but years back we started treating our family like a business in terms of goals and planning.
A big part of that is finances. We’ve since added other categories but finances are usually where we spend the most time.
We have done a monthly meeting (with written notes and everything) and have not missed one in over 7 years. Yes, it takes commitment but it is more than worth it.
We recently realized that once per month was not enough for this stage of our lives. Just like a business, as it grows, the needs change. We now do weekly mini (15-30 minutes) meeting where we discuss finances and weekly schedules.
Where do I start?
I can hear you asking yourself “Where do I start?” Perhaps you’re like me when I started and you’ve never had a conversation with your wife without arguing. I hear you.
Here are some guidelines:
- Listen to your spouse’s needs, thoughts, concerns, etc. – Listening and letting them know you understand in no way means you agree or with them. You’ll be amazed at what a little bit of listening will do for communication and trust. I had a lot of trouble with this but have gotten better over time.
- K.I.S.S. – At first don’t make anything overly complex. Dave Ramsey says that one spouse is usually a “nerd” (that’s me) while the other is a free spirit. I’ve found this to be spot on. Free spirits don’t want to spend hours analyzing a budget.
- Upcoming plans – Spend some time discussing what’s going on that month and what kind of money will be allocated for different categories (e.g. gifts).
It takes a little time like anything worthwhile but it’s so worth it. Your marriage and life will be better for it.
And if you’re single you’re not off the hook. I recommend getting a mentor or friend to discuss these things with.
These meetings with my wife have transformed my marriage and it’s done the same for people I coach.
My challenge to you is to schedule the first one and let me know if you have any questions.