In some marriages, one person emerges as the individual that maintains the books. In other marriages, both individuals take turns at this task. The main thing to keep in mind is that both parties should be happy with whatever decision is reached in terms of who maintains the books.
The “books” can relate to checkbook, paying bills, keeping track of a budget, insurance papers, and other important documents. The person who usually keeps track of these items must be organized, knowledgeable about due dates, balancing the checkbook, and keeping up with policies and what they mean.
If only one of the spouse surfaces as the person who maintains the books, year after year, he or she may feel they “control” the finances, while the other may feel completely at their spouse’s mercy. This can be a problem, especially if something were to happen to the spouse who keeps the books.
If you’re the primary bookkeeper in the family, be sure to share a simplified sheet of explanations, expenses, important numbers, and contacts, so your spouse feels like they’re in the loop. Plan a budget together. Assign each other tasks, if necessary, and try to remain calm when money gets tight.
Many arguments and can arise from financial problems in the home. Some couples fight over spending. Others fight over never having enough to do fun things anymore. Don’t let your romance and joy be robbed by bad financial planning and bookkeeping. Know your “papers.” Understand what’s going on in your home, your credit bills and history.
If you’re tired of being the primary bookkeeper, sit down with your spouse and have a serious one on one about getting some help. Work out a monthly or quarterly schedule as to who will take care of what. Whatever you do, don’t walk away from the conversation feeling resentful. Work it out until both of you are satisfied with the arrangement. It will make life so much easier and more bearable, not to mention fair!