I met Matt in college when I was 19 years old… it’s crazy to write this, but we’ve been together for over 14 years (married for 10)! We made the decision very early on in our relationship that the money we made would always be our money. I’ll never forget being 21 years old, moving to NYC right out of college and opening a joint bank account with Matt. We had many people in our lives give us their opinion on what we were doing… some agreed and some didn’t… but we forged ahead. We also made the decision, which I was thrilled about… that Matt would take care of the money.
And if we fast forward all these years, Matt’s still the one who takes care of the money, but within the last 6 months, I’ve taken a more active role. I loved having Matt have 100% of it because it was just something “off my plate” that I didn’t have to think about and didn’t have to worry about.
But… I guess the question is, “Was that smart for me to do?”
My friends over at 5 Minutes for Mom have invited me to participate in a campaign their working on with with Genworth Financial. This campaign is to raise awareness among moms about the importance of taking an active role in planning for their financial futures. I thought this was such a powerful campaign because it’s something that I don’t do and would like to start doing.
There are 4 reasons I want to start taking a full role in our financial future.
My sons are my inspiration and motivation for everything I do. As being the only spouse working right now, I have an even deeper appreciation and motivation for working harder and being smart about taking care of our financial future. Matt was laid off in September of 2010. That rocked our world. For the first time ever, I got scared. That’s not a fun feeling to have when you’re a parent. Something in me became awakened and a fire was lit… I knew that my family needed me at that point, and I was going to work very hard to deliver.
About 6 months ago, my husband and I sat down and really took a look at our finances. It was incredible to me to see what Matt had been doing for the last 10+ years. I didn’t even know the password to our online banking before this past April. It was just something I didn’t have any interest in knowing and (to be honest) worrying about. But something shifted in me, I wanted to know… I needed to know. I’m part of this, and I feel like it’s my responsibility to know more about what’s going on.
I also want to lead by example. I want my 4 sons to see their mom taking part in financial decisions about their future. I don’t ever want them to think that it’s something that I don’t care about to think about because I do. I care very much. And for me, the stakes only got higher when I became a mother. I think when I was single and engaged and a newlywed… I felt invincible. I had the mindset… if I ever get laid off, I’ll just get a new job. If NYC gets too expensive, we’ll just move. If I hate what I’m doing, I’ll just go back to school. I could be much more carefree. My financial future didn’t even enter my mind! Crazy that I actually thought that way… but it didn’t.
Now… well, it’s something that’s very front of mind. There’s college to think about. There’s the expenses of family vacations and activities that they boys do. There’s our (me and Matty) retirement future. These are very important and necessary things and I need to be part of this conversation and thought and decision process.
I don’t think I’m alone in being someone who just got involved in the financial planning. I hope I’m not alone! 🙂 It’s also very empowering to know what’s going on and to know that you are armed with information that’s beneficial to your family.
Do you have any experiences you can share?
Disclosure: Sponsored post with 5 Minutes for Mom and Genworth Financial.