7 Ways to Stay Open with Your Spouse About Finances

I’m talking about how to stay open with your spouse about finances at Alphamom. If something were to happen to me, I don’t want my husband to suddenly find himself in the dark about the part of our finances that I normally manage, trying to find where I placed the bills or what credit cards I have. Come see my ideas on keeping finances open and organized, and share your own thoughts there.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Francesca says:

    This is a very important thing. Finances, life insurance, wills. The lot. I have to say you are brave for writing about this as many people are not so open. All kudos to you.
    Francesca´s last post…Day 11 Of No Fripperies April

  2. Thank you!

  3. We do a lot of what you talk about – except for storing important documents. They’re haphazardly tucked here and there around the house, and I know where they all are, but he doesn’t.

    I just won an Easy Desk scanner at Simple Mom, so next on my list is to buy an external hard drive, and then a-scanning I will go! :)
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…A Bookworm’s Other Interests

  4. I’m laughing that the picture you showed just after the title is of plant purchases. For me, one of the most challenging financial things to be open about with The Husband is how much I spend on plants at this time of year. Of course, I’m not dishonest or putting us in debt or anything serious, but he’d rather not know the amount. And, of course, that kind of “lack” of communication is only possible because he trusts me to be a good steward.

    And, I know your article isn’t about that, but it still made me laugh.
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…{pretty, happy, funny, real}: Bullet Edition

  5. I learned about this interesting resource from another blog post talking about being prepared “just in case”. I think it applies to keeping spouses up to date as well. It’s called the Big Book of Everything. Here is a link that has a pdf file. It is free. You document all of your importatnt info in one place. There is also an excel version. http://www.erikdewey.com/bigbook.htm
    In terms of day-to-day ideas, I’ve found that by using mint and making sure my spouse has the password, he can see all the spending.

  6. Oh, now I feel guilty. In our house, it’s usually Travis that handles all the finances, because he is definitely the more economical one. I’ve been working really hard at it the last few years, but we could do more to be on the same page. Thanks for the reminder!
    Jennie´s last post…Stranger… Danger?

  7. I am the Chancellor of the Exchequor at my house! The bloke is a bit see-it-spend-it and therefore not to be trusted with money. He copped a right bollocking from me when he whizzed off with half the money put aside to pay a credit card bill, and has learned his lesson. So we have his/hers/ours bank accounts. He can do what he likes with his money and has to ask me for more (even though he earns more than me, he doesn’t mind) He also does not know the password to my bank accounts, although he does know I have two, and if I was run over by a bus tomorrow, he would be able to get access to both accounts fairly easily as I have set that up directly with the bank.)

    I pay as many things as I can with fortnightly direct credits from my bank account that I have set up (this means I can change them at any time); the rest of the bills come out of my other account. We have all current bills and financial documents in one spot, and the last two or three years are all together in one other spot.

    We do have a very vague budget, and I normally know to within $100 what the credit card will be before I get it.

    We use two banks – one for internets and one for everything else! The internet one is solely in my name as I was uncomfortable with shutting down everything when we started living together (too many horror stories of people having one account and him running off with the secretary AND the bank account!)

    We discuss big purchases (like appliances); and will tell the other one when a larger than normal purchase is planned.
    Harriet Archer´s last post…Vegetarian Lasagne

  8. Great topic!! And so important.

    As I move toward the high end of the 60’s, I think about how my hubby would manage in life without me (if I go first).

    We have had “The Talk” several times. Where this is. Where that is. We go to the bank to place things in our safe deposit box together. He knows who to call. I know who to contact.

    We each have an AMEX card and a debit card with the bank/credit union. We never buy large purchases without consulting the other. Never in all of our years of marriage. Since 1964.

    Being open and honest is the key. You don’t have to blab about each little purchase. Just the big stuff.
    Donna´s last post…Preparing For “May for Me” Month

  9. I gasped when I read this title. Then a wave of guilt washed over me …
    Amanda@EasyPeasyOrganic´s last post…Identity Crisis Frittata with Asparagus

  10. I think keeping open and honest talk without secret is they key. Zenguy and I share our finance decision, and ask each other before buying anything over of $50.

    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…How To Deal With Negative People

  11. Loved the article! What website do you use to check your credit score and does it leave a mark on your credit when you do? Thank you!


  12. I highly recommend using a shared account on mint.com. Add every single banking, credit card, mortgage, loan, or retirement account that you both have, and you’ll both be able to track all spending, savings, and debts. And if you like to keep some accounts strictly personal, just don’t add them to the Mint account.
    Mint also has many budgeting features: set monthly budgets, set savings targets for specific goals (a vacation, a big purchase, etc.), and purchase categorization features (good for tracking budgets & spending patterns). If you do the majority of your purchases on either credit or debit cards, you can track spending right as it happens. Having all this data in one place is very handy for tax time, or for running your own business, etc.

    Lastly, a shared billing email address can be very useful. My husband and I use Gmail’s delegated account feature do this:

    One drawback to this 100% transparency: it can be tricky to buy surprise gifts. :)