Author Topic: Wife Visibility  (Read 3431 times)

YoungAndNotFree

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Wife Visibility
« on: July 02, 2019, 04:23:08 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians, this is your Mustachian wannabe here, looking for some advice.

How much disclousure do you give to your wife of your financials?
And how have you found is the best way to aling her with the MMM life style?

As of this moment my wife have maybe 50-60% visibility of our financial, mostly because she doesnt mind much about money.
Works on a business we both own, and she let's me manage almost 95% of household.

I have seriously consider sitting her to make a full disclosure of this new goal that we both have been working on it (She just doesnt know it).
And see how she sees it.

My fear is, she would not be as passionate as I am, and would like to redirect the extra cash we are currently stashing....




v8rx7guy

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 04:28:55 PM »
This may be a good start:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

I would be 100% open with your wife about finances and plans.

ElleFiji

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 04:32:37 PM »
Oh my.

My ex wife had very little interest in finances, but I made sure that she knew where our money was because it was ours, and it was right and fair that the knowledge was available. I also made sure that even if I had her blessing to make decisions, that I did it based on shared goals.


In this exciting new world that we live in, I could end up a wife. I'd expect to have both parties aware of the full financial picture and shared goals and how much we'd combine before making anything legal. If anyone posted what you just posted behind my back, there'd be hell fire and fury. Justified rage is terrifying.

Your wife has an equal say in your joint goals, and you need to start seeing it that way. If you have separate goals that's cool, but you can't use her trust to follow your own agenda.

I'm having a cranky day and I think I've avoided being moderated, but I hope you realize that I'm being excruciatingly kind to you, and I fully trust the troops to mobilize and advise you. Please listen

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 04:43:28 PM »
Wow.

I’ve been married many, many years. If the idea of being married many, many years appeals to someone, then NOW is the time to be 100% open and honest about finances with your spouse and what the important shared goals are. The divorce lawyer is going to find it all out anyways if it doesn’t work out. Might as well be honest and work to avoid the number one cause of divorce which is money and money fights.

Snow White

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 04:50:52 PM »
Wow. I sure hope you are pulling our (collective) legs and this is a joke. If not, she gets to know 100% of your financial situation. She isn't a child and you aren't her daddy.

Villanelle

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 04:58:20 PM »
Um, my spouse and I know everything about our collective finances.  Because they are collective finances. 

Does your wife not WANT to know about your finances?  Or are you keeping things from her because you don't trust her?  It sounds like you are wanting to shift to a more frugal lifestyle, which is great, but making a shift that affects both of you without including her is not only unlikely to work, it's borderline dishonest.  If you don't trust your wife and can't talk this out with her to reach reasonable compromises, I'm not sure why you are even married. 

marble_faun

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 05:01:14 PM »
Your wife should have access to all information about your shared finances. 

It seems pretty condescending to hide information from her, or to set major money goals that she knows nothing about.  Especially considering you are business partners!  She should have a say in this.

As a side note, a lot of people here at MMM are wives themselves. Just something to consider when you imagine the audience for your posts.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 05:01:40 PM »
Oh my.

My ex wife had very little interest in finances, but I made sure that she knew where our money was because it was ours, and it was right and fair that the knowledge was available. I also made sure that even if I had her blessing to make decisions, that I did it based on shared goals.


In this exciting new world that we live in, I could end up a wife. I'd expect to have both parties aware of the full financial picture and shared goals and how much we'd combine before making anything legal. If anyone posted what you just posted behind my back, there'd be hell fire and fury. Justified rage is terrifying.

Your wife has an equal say in your joint goals, and you need to start seeing it that way. If you have separate goals that's cool, but you can't use her trust to follow your own agenda.

I'm having a cranky day and I think I've avoided being moderated, but I hope you realize that I'm being excruciatingly kind to you, and I fully trust the troops to mobilize and advise you. Please listen

I’m not into the MMM “facepunch” meme. There are some threads make me want to reconsider that.

bridget

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 05:12:00 PM »
Given that it's equally her money, please give her 100% visibility. If you can't trust her to make good decisions with a joint pot of resources, you should split the resources and each do with your share as you wish. If I found out any significant other of mine was making decisions about my money without me, or even worse deceiving me about the resources we had so he could pursue his unilateral goals, I'd be seriously pissed regardless of whether they were good goals or not.

Rosy

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 06:17:35 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians, this is your Mustachian wannabe here, looking for some advice.

How much disclousure do you give to your wife of your financials?
And how have you found is the best way to aling her with the MMM life style?

As of this moment my wife have maybe 50-60% visibility of our financial, mostly because she doesnt mind much about money.
Works on a business we both own, and she let's me manage almost 95% of household.

I have seriously consider sitting her to make a full disclosure of this new goal that we both have been working on it (She just doesnt know it).
And see how she sees it.

My fear is, she would not be as passionate as I am, and would like to redirect the extra cash we are currently stashing....


Oh my goodness:)

Well then, if you are indeed seriously considering sitting down with her and discussing 100% of your combined finances with her - then take a deep breath and just do it.
You really don't want her to accidentally discover what you've been up to:).

If you fear - like you say - that she might like to re-direct the extra cash differently then I'd say that is a valid reason to discuss it with her now.
Even if you end up comprising, you will find that in the end every good marriage needs to come to an agreement.
On the other hand, perhaps you could convince her to do it all your way for the next year or two and then re-visit your plans for the future.

If she is smart, she may well have ideas of her own that might benefit you both. Of course if culturally speaking she can't get over herself and wants to send all the extra cash to her family then you have a problem that you need to both come to terms with.

If she'd rather not be involved in the details of how you manage the finances - then I'd still discuss the current plans every quarter with her and try to get her on board with your plans.
I see no reason why either one of you would insist on doing things only her/his way. She is your wife and partner - so find a common goal. If you simply cannot come to terms - then I'd insist on 50% my way and 50% her way.

There is always a solution - you could switch off every month or every quarter and do it differently for the next six months or whatever - play with the math and get her interested. 
It's all good, go ahead and talk with her.

You may or may not be glad that you did have this talk, but you sound open to communication and hopefully, your wife will agree to most of your plans for your future together. I'd expect you to be open and listen to her concerns and be open to compromise.

You can do this - you are trying your best for your family, but in today's world you do need to have your wife on board and you may well find that things progress 100% better when she is involved or she may be fine with having you manage the finances.
Even if she is at first upset about extra cash not going where she most likely will want it to go - it is best to have her fully on board or at the very least find a compromise that you can both live with.

Edited to add that:
We discuss everything that amounts to more than $300., we each have discretionary income to spend as we like and there is always 100% visibility.
Life and financial goals are definitely always up for discussion.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 06:24:09 PM by Rosy »

Blue Skies

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 06:43:37 PM »
Money can cause issues in a marriage.  If your wife finds out you are hiding money from her so she doesn't waste it, how will she feel about that?  DH and I are generally on the same page financially, but I can tell you that there have been a couple of times he has made decisions without talking to me about them first and it didn't go so well.  Once I found out, the money was spent and there was no going back.  It was not a fun conversation at that point.  Best to involve her in the decision making as soon as possible.

It may be she really isn't all that interested, and will share your goals and move forward with whatever your current plan is.  If not, you need to come to a compromise you both can live with.

wenchsenior

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2019, 07:37:39 PM »
My husband and I do 100% joint planning and decision-making, though I (the woman) do all the money management.  We have a monthly 10-minute talk about goals, big purchases, net worth, cash assets, etc.  He usually seems to enjoy it, though I think he forgets all the numbers within an hour or so.  He's so bad at remembering that sort of thing that he generally can't remember his own salary or bi-weekly pay, and has to ask me if he needs to know.

ETA:

I'm trying to inject some humor, by the way.

I can't fathom not being completely open with my partner, and planning everything jointly, re: money in a marriage.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 07:40:50 PM by wenchsenior »

marble_faun

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2019, 07:53:26 PM »
Your wife should have access to all information about your shared finances. 

It seems pretty condescending to hide information from her, or to set major money goals that she knows nothing about.  Especially considering you are business partners!  She should have a say in this.

As a side note, a lot of people here at MMM are wives themselves. Just something to consider when you imagine the audience for your posts.

Isn't it kind of sexist to assume it's sexist? My mom handles all the money and gives my dad an allowance. She half makes jokes saying he doesn't know where the money is located. They are at the age where they have gone over everything but she was in control 90% of the time.

That said, yeah..... Definitely tell your wife.

The post is explicitly addressed to people with wives.  It doesn't say "spouse." 

I'm thinking the OP might not be a native English speaker, so I wasn't trying to be a wokeness jerk about it.  Just pointing out that women in hetero marriages are reading too. 

ElleFiji

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2019, 08:00:42 PM »
I think that this is an excellent moment to summon @Sailor Sam who seems to have opinions on how to treat wives with caution.

But I'm saving anything else for after OP returns, because op might be a nice person who hadn't realized that wives are people.

Freedomin5

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 07:10:53 AM »
100% disclosure.

My husband sounds exactly the same as your wife. As in, he doesn’t care much about money and often tells me, “I got a bonus, so I can spend it in X, Y, and Z.” He also used to tell me that he didn’t want to retire early. He also doesn’t know exactly how much he makes, how much our taxes are, how much we pay in rent, etc. I tell him how much our net worth is every few months, and tell him how and where we invest our money, and when we will likely be FI. He says “okay” and then promptly forgets what I told him.

What works for us is to give him an allowance. In other words, I have access to all our bank accounts (as does he, if he bothered to remember the passwords that I gave to him). Every month, I transfer an agreed upon amount from his account to mine, leaving him an “allowance” that he can spend on whatever he wants. That way, he doesn’t feel deprived and at the same time he is contributing to our FI goals.

Interestingly, he initially said that he didn’t want to FIRE because he wants to work until retirement age. I explained that it’s about FI and not necessarily RE. As he’s gotten older and more tired, he is now starting to talk about RE so that he can have the freedom to choose what he wants to do.

GuitarStv

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 07:39:38 AM »
100% disclosure!  Always be completely honest with your spouse.  It might involve some uncomfortable conversations up front, but will make your life much simpler in the long term.  Hiding stuff from your partner seems like a recipe for disaster.

charis

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2019, 08:00:42 AM »
How much disclousure do you give to your wife of your financials?

About the same amount that you'd give a husband, right?  My husband doesn't seem to care much about the minute details of our finances, which I mainly handle, but he has access to 100% of our financial information.

use2betrix

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2019, 11:10:16 AM »
My wife doesn’t care about anything financial related. She’s hardly ever worked and I’ve always made a ton of money. I disclose everything even though I’ve always handled everything. The last year she has had more of an interest in maintaining our Personal Capital account which is helpful and nice.

I couldn’t imagine not discussing income or goals with her. She is my partner, wife, and best friend. I want her 100% buy in on all of our goals. Fortunately she’s so “go with the flow” that it makes it easy.

YoungAndNotFree

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2019, 11:29:05 AM »
Hello people!!

Yes I'm not a native english.
I think I might be a little misunderstood.

But I really appreciate all the comments and have encourage me to talk thing through.
Still need to plan very well this chat.
As I hope she embraces Mustachians way as I did.


BTDretire

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2019, 04:47:27 PM »
My wife doesn't pay much attention to the big picture, only her daily frugalness.
I try to get her involved and her attention is lacking. Today I was working with a spreadsheet and she ask about what I was doing and I started to explain taking LTCGs at 0% Tax rate vs Roth Conversions, she walked away while I was still talking. ;-L
 I also mentioned that our Vanguard account hit a new high of $XXXX, she said oh, I thought it was 3/4 $XXXX. I mentioned to her there has been a quarterly updated networth statement on the computer desk since 2010. Oh well, we can eat!

FIREstache

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2019, 05:21:48 PM »
No disclosure with anyone except some vague commentary about eventually retiring one of these years.

lollylegs

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2019, 05:48:24 PM »
My husband is not very interested at all in our finances, so long as he can buy a coffee and bike parts. He was a banker for 20+ years but I've always managed the money. I know daily where all our finances are up to and what everything  costs in our budget. I update him every time I hit a new investment milestone and if I'm making any changes so he is kept updated on the big picture. Nothing is hidden, he has passwords and access to everything and neither of us would make a big financial decision without talking to the other about it first.

Steeze

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2019, 08:13:13 PM »
TL;DR - talk to your wife early and often. Make a plan that is right for both of you.

Wife is 100% on board and has full disclosure. Her visibility of our financial situation is also 100% mostly because I tell her regularly what our investments are and what our net worth is. She probably would be ok with less information.

Once a month she signs into her 401k for the monthly net worth spreadsheet update. She likes the Race To $$$ thread, she calls it “the ranker.” She also asks me, “how is the stock market today?” Not because she cares, but because she wants to humor me.

Back in January she was concerned about the stock market collapse everyone was talking about at her office (she works at a financial publication). She asked if we should sell. I assured her I was buying as much as I could and will not sell unless we run out of grocery money. She trusts me to make the right call.

Left on her own she would probably stash in a savings account and eventually buy real estate when she had enough to pay cash. She doesn’t know about stocks and doesn’t care to learn. She also is very debt adverse. To accommodate this we keep a decent cash cushion, not because I think we should, but because it makes her feel secure. I am also 100% planning on trading my taxable account for a multi family when possible. Again, not because I think real estate is superior, but because it’s something that interest her and will make her feel secure.

It’s all about finding a path you can both walk together. Make compromises, be transparent, offer to educate her, and accept if she doesn’t want to be educated. Build her trust in your ability to provide and you will be able to do whatever you think is best openly. Secrets can only work to break down her trust and cause problems for you in the future.

ElleFiji

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2019, 07:00:01 AM »
Hello people!!

Yes I'm not a native english.
I think I might be a little misunderstood.

But I really appreciate all the comments and have encourage me to talk thing through.
Still need to plan very well this chat.
As I hope she embraces Mustachians way as I did.

If I'm understanding you properly, you need two chats. One where you make sure she's aware of where the money is, which parts are in whose name and how to access all of it. And another one that's the first of many conversations about shared money goals. I don't like the idea of convincing a loved one that your way is the best way... But if you do read the how to convince your so posts, they are talking about ways to demonstrate different options.

Make sure that you keep an open mind when you talk to your wife. No one money philosophy is right or the best

ArviK

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2019, 07:21:48 AM »
I disclosed everything that i had and talked openly about my plans. At first she did not care. We had some ugly fights because of that. Like yelling and not talking for days fights. So I changed strategies.

I started mentioning concept of FU money, FIRE, savings rate, what was the monthly dividend return this month. As time went by she got interested. Thanks to budgeting she can stay home with kids until kindergarten starts. It was my constant droning for years that eventually worked. If you keep mentioning like how much you can buy with monthly dividends, and how much free time FIRE will provide, it eventually gets people thinking. I got that idea from somewhere here on this forum.

JestJes

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2019, 10:04:47 AM »
If you are keeping money decisions from your wife, you are just setting yourself up to lose more in the divorce.

electriceagle

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2019, 08:07:06 PM »
Hello people!!

Yes I'm not a native english.
I think I might be a little misunderstood.

But I really appreciate all the comments and have encourage me to talk thing through.
Still need to plan very well this chat.
As I hope she embraces Mustachians way as I did.

If I'm understanding you properly, you need two chats. One where you make sure she's aware of where the money is, which parts are in whose name and how to access all of it. And another one that's the first of many conversations about shared money goals. I don't like the idea of convincing a loved one that your way is the best way... But if you do read the how to convince your so posts, they are talking about ways to demonstrate different options.

Make sure that you keep an open mind when you talk to your wife. No one money philosophy is right or the best

I have a feeling that the person who started this thread is from (possibly still in) a culture with more distinct relationship roles than those found in the western world.

This doesn't mean that his wife doesn't have the right to information about their shared finances, but it might mean that she needs to take a financial literacy course before making decisions.

Edit: For the record, I clicked on this thread hoping to hear from Reed Richards.

ElleFiji

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2019, 08:55:21 PM »
Hello people!!

Yes I'm not a native english.
I think I might be a little misunderstood.

But I really appreciate all the comments and have encourage me to talk thing through.
Still need to plan very well this chat.
As I hope she embraces Mustachians way as I did.

If I'm understanding you properly, you need two chats. One where you make sure she's aware of where the money is, which parts are in whose name and how to access all of it. And another one that's the first of many conversations about shared money goals. I don't like the idea of convincing a loved one that your way is the best way... But if you do read the how to convince your so posts, they are talking about ways to demonstrate different options.

Make sure that you keep an open mind when you talk to your wife. No one money philosophy is right or the best

I have a feeling that the person who started this thread is from (possibly still in) a culture with more distinct relationship roles than those found in the western world.

This doesn't mean that his wife doesn't have the right to information about their shared finances, but it might mean that she needs to take a financial literacy course before making decisions.

Edit: For the record, I clicked on this thread hoping to hear from Reed Richards.
I agree that this could be the case, and considered answering differently. But in the end my opinion would just come to the couple needing more than two chats. And they are married. Which in most cultures (all that I've heard of except some really ancient English noble families) means time for many chats

I don't know who reed Richard is, but I was hoping for an invisible wife.

electriceagle

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2019, 12:54:27 PM »

I don't know who reed Richard is, but I was hoping for an invisible wife.

Ditto. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fantastic_Four_members


Mr Mark

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Re: Wife Visibility
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2019, 01:19:44 PM »
Hmmm

My SO is not too interested in financial details. But every year or so I do an 'Annual report'. About 6 pages. Goal, strategy and investment philosophy, net worth graphs, retirement accounts vs non, real estate, rates of return, asset allocation and any future changes planned for the coming year. Highlight the big risks facing the stach and what impact would be on the stach. After a year post-FIRE, I plan to add a section on expenses vs SWR, etc.

I find it a very worthwhile formal exercise for me that would be easy to avoid ('its in my head') otherwise, and that way your SO can choose to be as informed as they want.