The F Bomb

In many homes, for at least one half of the marital couple it’s a dirty word: Finances.

For most people, the word triggers a fight-or-flight response. The problem is that for each individual, the response is almost always the same. At the mention of the word “finances,” some get excited and prepare for battle with numbers, while others prefer a more pacifistic approach.

Furthermore, when the twain mix, intramarital wars can often arise.

In my house, I’m the finances warrior. My wife Courtney and I are so polarized in this area that if I want to watch a ballgame alone, all I have to do is drop the F Bomb. She’ll vanish from before my very eyes, leaving behind just a cloud of dust, à la Wile E. Coyote. There is no way I can package the word without bringing on her instant anxiety.

Well, there’s nothing like throwing a baby into the mix to make the finances challenge even greater. It really makes you start thinking about the future.

College: Are we going to pay for it? That should be a palatable $300K bill by the time our daughter graduates. Wedding: That’s cheap, right? Maybe we can convince her that weddings are bad. Or maybe we can lock her in the attic for the rest of her life — that would save on college, too. Insurance: We all live forever so why is that air jordan 9 important? Will: In the event of a fiery wreck that kills Courtney and I, who is going to care for our child and where is all our stuff going?

So how do Courtney and I approach this? Plan A was scratch-off tickets, but that seemed a little risky. Plan B could land me in jail for a while. So we are on to Plan C: the crazy notion of looking at the numbers and starting to strategize our financial life.

I handle personal finances the same way I tackle business finances: I use tools and seek knowledge. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Taking the first step is a bite, and if you take bites frequently then you’re on the right track.

My tools? I use Quicken to track business and household finances. It’s a very easy program to learn and it allows us to see all our money plans in one picture. What gets measured, gets managed.

My knowledge? When I don’t already know something, air jordan 5 femmes or when I need a second opinion, I go to Edward Jones for advice. Not only are they professional and knowledgeable, but they have a great feature for a work-from-home father of a 4-year-old: They make house calls.

No matter who in the home feels comfortable with the F word, it’s important to confront the matter early and often. If you can’t tackle it as a team, at least make sure you acknowledge which of you is the quarterback and which is the water boy (or girl). Both roles are important to putting a winning team on the financial field.