Sometimes in our family we get into a negative routine where we only discuss money when one of us has an issue with it. Hubby thinks we're not saving enough. I think we're not living enough. Our priorities get out of sync. We'll then sit down and discuss our finances. Usually in this situation one of us is starting in a bit of a funk, and while we don't let the discussion end until we're on a positive note, it's sometimes a painful road to get there.
My friend told me that her and her husband have monthly money meetings, where they sit down and discuss the month they've had and look forward to what's in the future. I immediately asked myself why on earth we didn't think to implement this for ourselves. I was struck with how positive it would be preparing for this discussion, coming together as a team to reconstitute what our family's long and short term goals are. Everyone wants to live debt free, but it's something so much easier said than done. Taking the time to sit down month to month and say "this is what we need to do this month to be on our way financially" will help make it possible.
I presented this idea to Ted, and we both agreed it's something we want to do. Our family having a monthly financial meeting means we will plan better. We'll have a forum in which to defend our positions, convince the other person, and listen to the other side of the coin. In the old method of a heated discussion, I would turn to my spouse and say "We never do anything fun, I want us to travel more." In the new forum, I get to say, "Here is some flex in our budget, or here is what I'm willing to cut for X amount of months in order to pay for a vacation as a family." We'll have a chance to reaffirm what we are working towards, and re-evaluate our priorities moving forwards.
First meeting will be in our new home-I'll be sure to update how it went and what we covered.