Finances were never spoken about in my family. I never new what my parents monthly budget was or how much they put away into savings each month. I knew that my mom balanced the family checkbooks, but I never knew why. I actually think my mom still keeps a checkbook despite smart phones and online banking. When we would go shopping, there would be the occasional, "Don't tell your dad how much I spent" or "I really shouldn't, but you look so cute in that". I usually got whatever I wanted within reason. I never asked for anything designer and didn't really care until college when I joined a sorority and started to notice how the other girls dressed. I started to work when I was 15, but never put any money away. Looking back, I wish I would have put it all into savings or invested it with my parent's financial adviser. It would have been the perfect time to start saving as I didn't have any real expenses. I worked in college too, but that all went towards clothes, parties, and trips. My parents have even had to bail me out a few times when I didn't keep track of what was in my accounts. By the time that I reached 27 and had my first child, I had very little to my name, which made me feel like I was not pulling my weight. Not to mention, it is so easy to spend money on your kids!
Doing a 180, my husband grew up saving and investing. He went to college for finance and is now a CPA specializing in high wealth individuals. He literally looks at money all day. He also really enjoys investing. He relaxes while looking at stocks and subscribes to a stock magazine that you can find him reading weekend mornings. Coming into our marriage, he was and still is more financially aware.
During our engagement counseling, finances were said to be the main topic couples fight over. It has been the main topic that my husband and I have sparred over (spar is my husbands preferred word as we don't battle). He wants me to be the family CFO. My response has been... "umm.. honey, I have never managed money in my life! How am I supposed to be able to do that? And Where do I even start?" There are months where I look back and realize that oops I might have spent too much. Then there are months where I really rocked it. I would have to say that I am more proud of myself and satisfied after the months where I rocked it. So now I am ready to take charge. I have decided to read the book Smart Mom, Rich Mom by Kimberly Palmer. My goal is to learn to manage my family's budget, to not shy away from discussing money with my husband and children, and to secure long term wealth and financial health for my family. I no longer want to sit back as my husband manages our accounts and picks investments. I am ready to get involved. Join me on my journey as I explore what it means to be a family CFO.