Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May $ Update

I haven't fully discussed all of the info I want to share on here with my wife yet, so for this month we'll keep it simple. Basically this month we were over budget due to the pond, patio, patio furniture, etc which was spent now knowing George W. would be sending us a check soon to cover it. Even with all that, our networth was up ~3% due to the stock markets continual recovery from the first quarter.

Every month I update an Excel Spreadsheet with our budget and net worth. There are several reasons for this. First being I'm a financial planner and therefore I feel like in order for me to preach at clients the importance of budgeting (or at minimum, keeping track of what you spend) I need to do the same.

Second, my wife is an engineer. I love her dearly, but she has this need to know where our money is at all time and that we are going above and beyond what is necessary so that she can retire earlier rather then later. Plus over the last few years, our marriage has changed from her keeping track of every last penny to relying on me to pay the bills and manage our portfolio. Her job doesn't allow the time required to do this. So the monthly update has been any easy way for us to communicate how we are doing financially.

The net worth evolved from updating the budget simply because I had to easy access to all the information needed. I've found over the years it is a great way to encourage us to continue putting money aside and paying down debt. Plus on those months that I spent a little too much at Lowe's, I was able to show my wife that even though I went well over my budget, our net worth was still increasing! The power of compound interest is awesome to see in real life!!

Why this works for us? I'm the half of the relationship that likes to spend. My wife would be perfectly content hoarding away everything. I'm more then okay with this!! So by looking at our finances each month, we're able to keep ourselves accountable to each other and we now only purchase larger ticket items when we know we have extra income one month, or cut back in a different area. Plus we have the habit of not purchasing anything without the others permission...even down to a trip to the local Krispy Kreme. Yeah, it might sound very extreme to some, but as the spender in the relationship, it's helped us amass what we have and enjoy our money working for us instead of us working for the money.

If anyone is interested in the spreadsheet template to use for yourselves, just drop me an e-mail!

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