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Chapter 10

 Financial Aerobics

By: James J Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS


MWO 10 Roster

10-1 An Inventory of the State of our Economy

10-2 What are Our Attitudes about Money?

10-3 A Couple’s Scavenger Hunt

10-4 What’s Blocking My Financial Aerobic Routines?

10-5 Budgeting – Tightening the Belt

10-6 Follow-up Work-Plans for Financial Responsibilty

MWO 10 Prologue

 

• • • Lois was a credit card addict. When she was depressed or blue she would travel out to the mall and buy something with one of her fourteen credit cards to pep her up. Lois also took care of the family finances and checkbook and hid her impulse purchases from Josh. Joshua was caught up in having the symbols of his financial status. He arrived home last month with a "surprise" sports car. The Durites lived in a “McMansion" which was furnished lavishly. They were caught up in the credit trap• • •

 

The stress of finances on a marriage can take its toll. A couple able to develop a budget and stick to it has a better chance of their marriage working out. The exercises in this chapter are directed to assist you both to increase your money consciousness and to develop a well-balanced marital financial plan.

 

Caution Advisory

 

The Budget exercises in this chapter are very complex and may take a long time to complete. You two might choose to do this exercise at the same time you are working on others in this workbook. Since this task takes a lot of research and time to complete you can also be covering other work-out issues before this one is completed.

10-1 Inventory of the State of Our Economy

 

Do this exercise on your own. It is intended to determine your spouse’s perception of how you react to financial concerns. Put a numerical rating for each of the following items. Use the following rating scale:

 

1 = Never   2 = Rarely    3 = Sometimes    4 = Almost Always   5 = Always

 

Rating

 

 

[1] I worry about our debts and being able to meet our financial obligations.

 

[2] I make no effort to ensure that we have a nest egg set aside for possible future emergencies.

 

[3] I hate income tax time

 

[4] I wonder where we will get the money to cover our bills at the end of the month.

 

[5] I am not confident that the income my spouse and/or earn is sufficient for our needs.

 

[6] I am always looking for a job which will bring in more money.

 

[7] I feel like there is not enough income for us to spend time in enjoyable activities such as hobbies, entertainment, sports, etc.

 

[8] I am not comfortable with the decision we have made as to who is [or are] the primary wage earner(s) in this relationship.

 

[9] I have concerns about how my partner handles money.

 

[10] If a wife's income is not a necessity for the family's economy, I do not feel she should pursue a professional career if she desires to.

 

[11] I want to have a different standard of living than that which I was used to, in my family of origin

 

[12] I am concerned that we are living way beyond our means.

 

[13] I am bothered by how stingy and tight my partner is with money.

 

[14] Having children has (or will) really put a strain on our financial resources.

 

[15] I believe that we do not have enough life and/or health insurance to cover the both of us.

 

[16] It is important to me to acquire a lot of wealth.

 

[17] I find that I am spending more time in my work in order to increase our income.

 

[18] I believe that it is best when spouses have separate checking accounts.

 

[19] My spouse and I are not in agreement about what is the "good life."

 

[20] I believe that money "buys happiness."

 

[21] I strongly believe in the notion that money brings security.

 

[22] I find that possessions and things have a way of preoccupying or possessing me.

 

[23] I do not like the way we have budgeted our money and have made future financial plans.

 

[24] I worry that "money concerns" will someday be the ruination of our marriage.

 

[25] I believe that financial concerns are the biggest problem in our marriage.

 

My Score: ______

My Spouse’s Self-Score_______

Our Average Couple Score _______

 

To score this inventory, add up the numerical ratings for each of the 25 items. To get the couple score use both of your rating scores add them, then divide by two and round off to the next whole number. Record these scores in the appropriate blanks above. Then compare each items ratings with your partner. Openly discuss each area where you have different ratings or perceptions. The following is the interpretation of the scores.

 

Score

Ratings

Interpretation

25-40

Outstanding Economy

You have an outstanding economy. Perhaps you would like to assist the President and Congress next.

51-65

Good Economy

You have the mind of an accountant. Perhaps H & R Block could use you. But don't be too over confident. Your state of the economy is good at this time.

66-80

Stable Economy

You might be getting into trouble if you don't take some preventative action now. Look at the areas where you need to put some effort and work at it, The state of your economy is stable, but it could flounder in the near future.

81-95

Bleak Economy

You might be getting yourself into some marital or financial problems. You might need to seek the assistance of either an accountant or a marriage counselor or both. The state of your marital economy is bleak.

96-125

Troubled Economy

Not only is your economy in trouble, but your marriage may be bankrupt. Get help now from professionals who can assist you to get your books and selves in order.

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

10-2 What are our Attitudes about Money?

 

One of the stickiest problems between married couples is money. The more you are able to explore this area the better chance you have of avoiding painful arguments.

 

Poor money management is said to be a major factor in divorce. The difficulties lie not in the amount of money available nor in the husband's or wife’s individual ability to manage money, but rather in the incompatible ways of handling money. In such cases, each partner generally tries to impose her or his method onto the other.

 

When these arguments arise, one of several things can happen:

 

  • One of you can insist on your method and leave your partner feeling put down, inadequate, foolish or resentful.

 

  • One of you can back out of money management altogether and leave it all to the other.

 

  • Each of you can listen to the feelings of the other and to the other's proposed method of money management. You can then arrive at a compatible plan, one that is understood and agreed upon by both of you.

 

The following questions should be filled out individually to assist you both deal with differences in handling money. Once you answer these questions discuss your answers with your spouse.

 

Read the following questions and write your answers in your journal, as completely and honestly as you can.

 

1. How much is my income? $____ a year.

 

2. How much does my partner make? $______a year.

 

3. Do I want to keep our incomes separate for any reason? Yes  No   If yes, why?

 

4. Do I believe money is to be spent and enjoyed and not hoarded? Yes  No        

 

5. Do I believe extra money should be saved for a rainy day? Yes   No 

 

6. Do I want to set up a special account for some special purpose? Yes  No  If  yes, for what purpose?

 

7. Do I plan a budget? Yes  No  If no, why?

 

8. Do I stick by a budget if planned?  Yes  No  If no, why?

 

9. Am I inclined to charge things? Yes  No  If yes, what are some recent items I have  charged?

 

10. Do I spend money to help myself get out of a low mood? Yes No   If yes, what are some recent purchases I have made to help me get out of a low mood?

 

11. How do I behave when a salesperson is really high-pressuring me?

 

12. Which one of us should keep the books and pay the bills? Me   Partner   Why?

 

13. How do I feel when I talk about money with my spouse?

 

14. How does my family background differ from my partner's in attitudes towards money, spending and saving habits?

 

Once you have completed this task, share your results with your partner.

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. How much do we differ from one another in our attitudes towards money?

 

2. How satisfied are we in our current level of income?

 

3. How comfortable is it for us to pool our monies?

 

4. What steps can we take to ensure that we feel comfortable with the way we each handle money?

 

5. How comfortable are we with our financial long term plans? How realistic are they? How could we change these plans to be more mutually satisfying?

 

6. Why are we so hesitant to talk to each other about money?

 

7. What obstacles exist to our free and open discussion of financial matters?

 

8. What are our attitudes about budgeting?  Why do we feel this way?

 

9. How emotionally strong are we when it comes to money expenditures? How impulsive are we in making purchases?

 

10. What impact do our individual family backgrounds have on the state of our marit al economy? What steps can we take to alter this pattern? Why do our backgrounds affect our present attitudes about money so?

 

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

10-3 A Couples’ Scavenger Hunt

 

Sometimes you may lack enough information before you can make sound financial decisions or develop budgets. This exercise will give you both a chance to have some fun and hopefully learn a few helpful hints. Pretend you two are on a scavenger hunt. You are supposed to track down a price for each of the items listed below. You then record what is the source of information for your estimate of cost. You each should do this exercise on your own first. Once you both have completed the task, sit down and compare your lists.

 

Cost

Source

Scavenger Hunt Item

 

 

1. a ten pound standing rib roast

 

 

2. four (4)new radial top of the line tires

 

 

3. a pair of sewing shears

 

 

4. an electric drill with bits

 

 

5. a microwave oven

 

 

6. a jock strap

 

 

7. a size 34C bra

 

 

8. an average haircut and tip

 

 

9. a permanent wave and tip

 

 

10. a $250,000 term life insurance policy's annual premium

 

 

11. lifetime cost of raising one child

 

 

12. Average cost of a new home with: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2 car garage.

 

 

13. a quart of motor oil (high grade)

 

 

14. a tube of red lipstick

 

 

15. a pair of women's walking shoes

 

 

16. a pair of men's boat shoes

 

 

17. cost of a solar water heating unit including installation

 

 

18. cost for two tickets, front row center section, for the local Performing Arts Theater’s Production of a touring Broadway Show

 

 

19. average cost of a dinner for two on a Saturday evening  (don't forget all costs involved: babysitting,  gas, transportation, clothing, flowers, etc.

 

 

20. a three-piece man's business suit

 

 

21. a woman's business silk dress

 

 

22. average cost of tuition, room and board for a four year college education at a private college out of  town.

 

 

23. a bowling ball

 

 

24. two knitting needles and three skeins of yarn

 

 

25. average medical and hospital expenses for a full term pregnancy, and normal delivery of a healthy baby

 

 

26. monthly charge for one child in a fullday preschool day care program

 

 

29. average costs to have a CPA prepare a joint tax  return for a married couple

 

 

30. average legal fees per couple for a non-contested or collaborative divorce in your community

 

 

31. an Apple Watch

 

 

32. a cross county bicycle

 

 

33. average monthly lease on a SUV

 

 

34. cost of a 24 foot in-board motor boat

 

 

35. cost of flooring for a 1,200 square foot home

 

Now compare your costs and sources for your information with your spouse. After you have reviewed all 30 items and the accuracy of your information consider the following questions.


Suggested Discussion Questions

1. What surprised us on the scavenger hunt about the costs we found?

 

2. What short cuts, if any, did we use to get our information?

 

3. What would be the savings we could realize by more productive mutual financial planning?

 

4. How realistic are our dreams for the future based on our current financial resources?

 

5. Will we be satisfied in five years if our current earning capacity remains the same or only increases less than 5% each year?

 

6. What can we do to improve the way we handle our finances?

 

7. What role can an accountant play in our marital happiness?

 

8. How open are we to altering our current behaviors when it comes to handling money?

 

9. When an item was more prone to be usually purchased by only one of us, how accurate was the other partner in arriving at the cost of the item?

 

10. How successful would we have been if we had worked jointly on the project from the start? What does this tell us about our current method of handling our money matters?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

10-4 What’s Blocking My Financial Aerobics Routine?


Do this activity on your own before comparing your results with your partner. Read each of the following attitudes about money and finances and check as TRUE only those belief which you currently hold:


True for Me at this time

Attitude about Finances

 

1. Both of us having jobs will lead to wealth for   us

 

2. Our best investment for the future is saving money in the bank;

 

3. I conscientiously avoid any kind of debt since debt is bad.

 

4. Security is good and must be conscientiously striven for.

 

5. Any type of failure is bad.

 

6 I measure my partner's and my wealth in terms of material possessions.

 

7. The government, my employer (and/or my partner's employer) or someone else is ultimately responsible for my partner's and my financial well-being.

 

8. In order to acquire wealth one must play dirty and take advantage of others.

 

9. I believe that it takes money to make money.

 

10. My partner and I have not set down any specific written financial   goals for ourselves.

 

11. I cannot visualize where my partner and I will be financially in fifteen years.

 

12. I have no confidence in my partner or myself when it comes to believing in our ability to be financially independent  in the future.

 

13. I believe that it takes a great deal of luck, being at the right place at the right time and knowing the right people to become financially independent.

 

14. I like to dream and talk about where I would like us to be financially,  but  I don't seem to take the action or steps necessary to achieve these goals.

 

15. We look with dread to the day when we will retire and be strapped to a fixed income.

 

My score: _____

My Partner’s score: ______

Our Couple score: ______

To score this inventory, add up the number of “True for me at this time”. Put your partner’s and your score in the appropriate blank. To get the couple score, add up the total the True’s checked by each partner, counting only once those items both of you marked as True for you at this time. The following is the interpretation of the scores:


Score

Rating

Interpretation

1-2

Excellent

You and your partner are on your way to becoming financially self-reliant.

3-4

Fair

You and your partner are experiencing hurdles to becoming financially self-­reliant. You need to read more about the truths of financial aerobics to help you jump these hurdles.

5 or more

Poor

You financial aerobics are not getting you anywhere. You work hard, sweat a lot, but do not see the long term, down the road rewards for your labors. You need to read the following truths about financial aerobics to help you plan your future course of financial exertion.

 

The Fifteen Realities of Financial Aerobics

Myth

Reality

1. Having a job leads to wealth.

Having a good job, working hard and moving up the ladder to more responsibility will not necessarily take you and your partner to golden years of retirement, wealth and happiness. The fact is that jobs support our needs and habits (like eating) but it rarely leads to wealth. The answer is not to work harder but to work smarter to become financially self-reliant.

2. Saving money is good.

The discipline of saving money as investment is important, but you cannot expect your savings to carry you to financial independence. Assuming minimal inflation and taxes, any dollar earning less than about 15% per year is a losing venture and at best is the slow liquidation of wealth.

3. Debt is bad and should be avoided.

Yes, any debt which is incurred in the acquisition of material possessions which give you the appearance of wealth should be avoided. However, going into some form of investment debt is essential in order to become, eventually financially self-reliant or independent.

4. Security is good.

Security is often an illusion consider the present state of the Federal Social Security System. The more you love security, the more likely you will avoid risk. If you avoid risk, you also avoid opportunity, because risk is the price you pay for opportunity. Risk is an essential part of progress on the road to financial self-reliance.

5. Failure is bad.     

Failure is a part of success. One must develop a positive mindset about failure. One can learn from it and develop ingenuity,  flexibility and an

ability to create new ways of achieving goals. In turning failures into success, failure can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

6. Wealth is measured in terms of material possessions.

Wealth is not money. Money and things are just the appearance of wealth. Wealth is a state of mind - an attitude. Using your accumulated experience and knowledge and a positive attitude about your abilities is the road to true wealth and financial independence.

7. The Government, my employer, or someone else is responsible for my financial well-being.

We alone are responsible for our ultimate financial welfare.

8. Acquiring wealth is a dirty win/lose game.

You can take advantage of infinite sources of wealth which can be tapped into without reducing others' chances of becoming wealthy.

9. It takes money to make money

It does take money to make money, .but it does not have to be your own money .Borrowing and investing are means to create personal wealth,

10. Writing down future financial goals is a pipe dream.

A realistic goal that is not written down is a wish or daydream. When you are serious enough to commit your goals to paper and read them regularly, you energize your commitment and creativity.

11. It is silly to visualize a goal or dream.

By using mental imagery for the visualization of your financial goals just before drifting off to sleep or just after waking up in the morning you can influence your subconscious mind. Success in attainment of visualized goals has been proven successful in athletics and dramatically documented by the number of athletes who use mental imagery to win in their respective sports.

12. It is corny to affirm yourself as you pursue your goal of financial self-reliance.

It takes a lot of self-esteem to accomplish great things. To build self-confidence one must practice self-affirmation of one's qualities, abilities and positive attitudes. If you believe in yourself you will project this, and it will build confidence, not only in you, but in your partner's confidence in you to achieve your financial goals.

13. It takes luck to become financially independent.

Rather than luck, it takes a high probability of success to achieve one's financial goals. You must work to increase your probability of success by learning the skills needed and trying harder to use them.

14. Becoming financially self­ reliant sounds good in theory, but it will never work in reality,

By failing to act you will fail to succeed. You need to leap from theory to practice. It is worse to fail to try than to try and fail. You must get yourself organized, confidence bolstered, and ready to take the risk in order to take action - so do it now!

15 Retirement should be a dreaded event.

By taking steps to become financially self-reliant and by working hard at visualizing and affirming your success, you can achieve the goals which make future retirement a desired goal rather than a dreaded event.

 

Now you two should take the steps necessary to succeed by setting up your long range financial aerobics plan for financial self-reliance.


Our Long Range Financial Plan

1. Our financial goals to be achieved in the next fifteen years are:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

2. The visual image we will visualize mentally for this goal is:

My Image                                                      My Spouse’s Image

 

3. The affirmations we will make daily to keep these goals active are:

My Affirmations                                           My Spouse’s Affirmations

1.                                                                                            1.

2.                                                                                            2.

3.                                                                     3.

4.                                                                     4.

5.                                                                     5.

 

4. Our plan of action to achieve these goals is:

 

Steps to be taken                                       By whom                              By when

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

5. We will be able to evaluate how successfully we have reached our 15 year financial goal by reviewing the following behaviors, accomplishments and achievements which we expect to experience in the next 15 years.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

We agree to the above plan.

 

_________________________                ___________________________

My signature                                                My partner's signature

 

_________________________                ____________________________

Date                                                               Date

 


In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

10-5 Budgeting-Tightening the Belt

 

This exercise is to be done together. You and your partner will be developing a budget and developing a plan of financial management. Before you begin this process, here are a few simple rules you should follow in terms of money management.

 

Rules for Married Couple's Money Management

 

1. Make a yearly budget with priorities, including a savings and investment plan which is to be followed and reviewed on a monthly basis and adjusted at least every three months.

 

2. Always pay yourselves first. Set aside as the first bill to pay your deposit in your savings account as a hedge against budget missed projections and as possible investment capital.

 

3. Set aside a place in your home (a room if possible) where you can keep all records of financial dealings neatly stored for easy reference.

 

4. Limit your expenses in order to generate a surplus - a savings to cover contingencies or to use for future investments.

 

5. Discontinue all credit purchasing for non-investment oriented goods until you have become "debt free" and formulated a plan for wise use of credit in the future.

 

6. Discuss all credit purchases beforehand so as to eliminate impulsive credit buying of incidentals.

 

7. Keep cost of credit (% of interest rate) foremost in your minds and always shop for the lowest possible annual percent­ age rate of interest.

 

8. When using credit for non-investment items, use the shortest possible period rather than the longest allowed to pay the balance due.

 

9. Record all credit purchases as soon as you make them and review monthly.

 

10. To assist you make a budget, keep a precise, daily account of any and all outgoing money and review these accounts monthly.

 

11. Conduct a monthly budget meeting (including all family members) at the same time each month to discuss your budgeting and finances.

 

12. Seek ways to increase your income by working smarter rather than by working harder.

 

13. Learn and master the principles of investing your surplus capital in order to gain more income in "smarter" ways which require less direct work and effort from you.

 

14. Constantly review and create cost cutting ideas which you can put into practice.

 

15. Whenever you can afford it, use professionals to help you review your budget plans and to prepare your tax returns.

 

. The Marriage Work-Out Six Step Annual Budget Making Process

 

Here is an outline which addresses the key elements to sound couple budgeting. To accomplish this task will be time consuming. Spend as much time as you can now, so that your financial lives in the future will be smoother. Doing this process will be easier on an annual basis after this first attempt. Use separate sheets, using the outlines provided in each step.

 

Step 1: What we owe?

Calculate your debt today by reviewing your credit card and installment loan records.

 

Creditor

Portion of payment which is interest

Minimum monthly payment currently due (including interest)

Outstanding Balance

Auto Loan

 

 

 

Personal Loan

 

 

 

Consumer goods loans

 

 

 

Home Improvement loan

 

 

 

School Loans

 

 

 

Department store loans

 

 

 

Major credit/debit cards

 

 

 

Gas cards

 

 

 

Doctors

 

 

 

Dentist

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

Step 2: How do we use credit?


Use the last twelve (12) months' credit card statements and/or invoices, loan statements and bank records to do this task. A savings withdrawal is borrowing from yourself. This step helps you to look at your patterns of using credit and borrowing money. It will be used in Step 4 as well.

Last 12 Months

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Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten at home 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automobiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gasoline/oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundries*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toiletries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haircuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugs & Medications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobacco product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquor/beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appliances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linens and such

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home related repair or improvement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books (Kindle, Nook, paperback etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movies, Concerts or Sports event other such events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings account withdrawal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other (including borrowed but unaccounted for)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Totals:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Total of Credit Purchases:  $__________

Notes: *Sundries can  include various  consumables such as paper products, animal foods, film, cosmetics and such, but if any one of these constitutes a large expenditure because it represents hobby supplies for instance, separate it out, move it to the appropriate category or "other" and annotated what it was for.   

**You may want to break clothing expenditures down for each family member.

Step 3: How much money do we make?

 

Last 12 Months

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Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wages (after taxes and other decutions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other regular income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporadic income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest on savings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interests on investments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax refund

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Totals:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                        

                                                                                         Annual Total Income:  $__________

 

Step 4: How much money do we spend?


Use all of your financial records of the past twelve (12) months, especially your checking and bank statements to determine all cash expenditures, either by check or out of pocket including payments on credit accounts and loans. (These figures you get from Step 2), If you know you spent cash, but cannot find a record where you spent it, put it under "spent but unaccountable."  Remember, list only cash only expenses. If you pay for gas by credit card only, the item would be recorded under "credit card payments" and not under “gasoline and oil."

 

Last 12 Months

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Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage/Rent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeowners/

Renter Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dentist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugs & Medications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electricity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heating Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cell Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cable TV/Direct TV Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten at home 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automobiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gasoline/oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public transportation & Tolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child care/ babysitters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundries*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toiletries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haircuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobacco product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquor/beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appliances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linens and such

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home related repair or improvement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books (Kindle, Nook, paperback etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magazines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie, Concerts or Sports event other such events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alimony/child support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Allowences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings account withdrawal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributions/ Church/Charity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undeducted Income Tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undeducted Social Security Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Supplies/ Stamps, paper, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings deposits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit card payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installment loan payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other (including borrowed but unaccounted for)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Totals:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Annual Total of Cash Purchases: $_________

Step 5: What are Out Financial Priorities?

Before you decide priorities, you both must look at the results of Steps 1 - 4 and answer the two questions:

 

1. Are we spending more than we are earning Monthly, Quarterly and Annually? Compare monthly and annual totals found in Steps 3 and 4.

 

2. Do we have large sums of ''unaccountable" spending in our credit (Step 2) and cash expenditures (Step 4) findings? If yes, begin to record daily, every penny you and your partner spend in small notebooks which each of you should carry. This should help in determining priorities.

 

Our Financial Priorities for the Next Year

Beginning _______Ending ________

 

A. Highest Priorities for us both (our family):

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

B. Medium Priorities for us both (our family):

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

C. Low Priorities for us both (our family):

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Step 6: What is our Budget?


Use all of the information obtained in Step 1 - 5 to develop a budget for the upcoming year. Be sure you both (or all family members) agree on your projections and choices. Make monthly and quarterly adjustments at your monthly budget meetings. Do note that there is no "unaccounted for" category.


Next 12 Months

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Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings (future annual bills account)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings-regular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage/Rent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeowners/

Renter Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dentist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugs & Medications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electricity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heating Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cell Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cable TV/Direct TV Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten at home 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food eaten out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automobiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gasoline/oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public transportation & Tolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child care/ babysitters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundries*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toiletries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haircuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobacco product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquor/beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appliances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linens and such

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home related repair or improvement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books (Kindle, Nook, paperback etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magazines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie, Concerts or Sports event other such events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alimony/child support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Allowences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings account withdrawal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributions/ Church/Charity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undeducted Income Tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undeducted Social Security Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Supplies/ Stamps, paper, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings deposits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit card payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installment loan payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Monthly Totals:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                Annual Budget Total: $_______________________

 

Some Issues to Consider


Once you have completed your budget for the next year, here are some issues you might want to consider to assist your thinking in the future.

1. How can we improve the ways we cut costs?

2. What are some ways we can increase our income by legally paying less taxes?

3. What more information do we need to make wise financial investments?

4. How sound is our current savings and investment programs?

5. How willing are we to spend time with a professional financial advisor going over our financial plans?


In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

10-7 Follow-up Work-Out Plans for Getting Our Values on Track


As a result of our exercises, discussions, and efforts in this chapter of our Marriage Work-Out on our Finances, we have come up with this action plan to continue and follow up the health enhancing what we have just completed.


I. Our Financial Needs

The following are needs which we still have to address to fully achieve full health in the financial aspect of our marital relationship:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

II. Strategic Steps towards Growth in Financial Planning

The following are specific steps we will take to address our needs to improve handling our handling of our finances:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

III. Personal Responsibility Taking

The following are the things I will specifically do to ensure that we as a couple continue to grow in dealing with our financial handling:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

IV. Evaluation of Action Plan for Financial Responsibility Taking

We will know we have achieved our goal to grow in the financial area of our relationship by the following measurable behavioral changes:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10

 

We agree to the above Marriage Work-Out plan for financial responsibility taking.

 

_________________________                ___________________________

My signature                                            My partner's signature

 

_________________________                ____________________________

Date                                                          Date