Two years ago, our family of seven made our eleventh military move in thirteen years. Near our new home in New Mexico, my husband, Bob, was starting his training in the snazziest jet on the block—the F117A Stealth Fighter, the "Nighthawk."
Just a few months into his training, while landing the Nighthawk, a gust of wind wrapped the parachute around the jet and scratched its sensitive, still-classified "skin." The tiny scratch cost about $45,000 to repair! It just goes to show that even a $55 million jet can have a bad day.
While some accidents can't be avoided, we can prevent other kinds of mishaps. This is true with the misadventures that can occur in marriage, especially in the area of finances. By taking steps to prevent financial wrecks, we can emerge without a scratch and minimize the inevitable stress and conflict that accompanies money woes.
The best way for couples to keep finances in top form is to:
1. Develop a way to track money.
2. Assign responsibility for spec ific money-related tasks.
3. Develop a custom-made money matters checklist.
These simple steps will allow you to keep an eye on your money so it doesn't fly out of control.
Tracking Your Bucks
A big part of financial management is keeping track of where money goes. There are a variety of ways to keep track of your dough that will vary according to preference, situation, and ability. Here are a few options to help couples keep their eyes on their dough.
Credit Card Managers
In this system, both spouses pay the majority of monthly expenses with a credit card. All expenses are assessed monthly when the credit card statement arrives and purchases are tracked.1