Meaningful Personal Finance Net Worth Reports
I have pretty much taken over all the money management, including investing, bill paying, and account management. However, I still think it so important that my spouse takes an active role in at least understanding what is happening on a regular basis, setting joint financial goals, etc.
We have already fumbled with this a few times. We have tried to hold family finance meetings where we basically go over a multi-page print out of (at the time hers and mine) our account balances and some basic MS Money reports. The meetings turned into heated complaint sessions - they were disasters.
Finances, investment strategies, money saving schemes, and financial goals not most energizing topics for my wife and that’s ok as long as we can communicate adequately about them. I just need to find a way to convey the information needed to my wife without overwhelming or boring her to death - at least to begin with.
I have begun to realize part of the problem is the way the information is portrayed to her. Lists of account balances and pie charts are of little significance to my wife if she can't equate them to results of her actions and decisions. I have realized we need to create a better reporting system for our family finances to help my us track our progress.
It may be something that evolves over time, but at least to start with it would be good to just start conveying a few key statistics such as monthly net worth change, monthly income and then drill down on our monthly expenses by category so she can see where all the money is going and whether she is spending a lot or a little. At least something along those lines. Any suggestions?
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