I love spending time with and talking to my husband, which is a good thing because I plan to spend a pretty long time with him. We talk about everything. But we didn’t talk much about our finances for the first few years of our marriage.
Maybe it was uncomfortable for us to talk about. Or we just didn’t want to be bothered to think about it.
Either way, I think we made a lot of bad financial decisions because we didn’t talk about things beforehand.
Finally, I decided that something had to change, not just with our finances but with our family planning in general.
So, we implemented the weekly meeting every Sunday afternoon.
I know, it sounds awful. Who wants another meeting? But, it’s not! It’s an amazing hour of reviewing the week we just had and planning for the next week.
Weekly Meeting Review
First, we do a general overview of the week. If we made changes to our routine, did they work? Do we need to tweak something else?
This little overview helps guide us with what we need to focus on the following week. Maybe we are showing up late every day to drop our son off at school. What needs to change?
Or maybe the car broke down and we had to pay to get it fixed, so now we have to adjust our budget for the rest of the month.
Which leads me to ….
We go over all of our expenses for the week and add them to our monthly budget. I pull out receipts and we look over bank account information.
We record every penny spent, including snacks bought at the corner store and money spent at work that we will need to get reimbursed.
Next Week’s Budget
We also look at any upcoming bills that need to be paid that aren’t automated (everything that can be automated should be!!) and decide who will pay them and when.
This is our chance to do a budget check as well. Are we on track with our monthly goals and our budget? Do we need to adjust for some reason?
Next Week’s Schedule
After budgeting is out of the way, we look at our schedule for the next week.
First, we talk about any work travel or community commitments we have for the week and how we will plan for childcare.
Then, we schedule in time to be spent as a couple and planned family time, which could be an outing or just homemade pizza night and games.
We schedule in time for my husband to go to the gym and for me to get my workouts in as well. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t happen (and even then, getting the workout in can be difficult)!
Once we schedule our week, we talk about what meals we’d like to plan. We have a rotation of different lunches and dinners and we make our weekly shopping list based on the meals we plan for the week. If we were really on the ball, we’d do freezer meals and prepare monthly or every two weeks, but we haven’t quite gotten there yet. Maybe someday.
Finally, we set aside time to see how each other is doing. It may seem like this shouldn’t have to be scheduled, but sometimes life just gets in the way. And we need to take the time out and be intentional about asking each other how we are doing.
Some days, we don’t have much to say because we’ve already talked during the week. But sometimes, one of us will share that we are overwhelmed with things at work, or at home, or feel like we aren’t reaching our goals.
Other days, we’ve got something great to share that we haven’t had a chance to do during the week.
When we started having our weekly meetings, an amazing thing happened. Our stress levels went way down. Because we weren’t doing everything last minute. We knew what would be for dinner each day, who would pick my son up for school, and when we’d be able to get in our workouts.
And we had time dedicated to talking about our finances and crunching the numbers together. This helped us have a clear plan as a family as to what our financials goals are and how to get there.
Best of all, we were able to check in with each other to see how everything was going. Sometimes, we don’t have enough time during the crazy weeks to check in. So, we can share with each other something that has bothered us or something we are proud of that we haven’t had time to do between making dinner, cleaning up messes, and reading bedtime stories.
And whenever we don’t have our weekly meetings, we feel it. What do you want for dinner? I forgot to tell you that I have a meeting tonight. Or how do we not have any more money left for the week? are our reminders that we need the weekly meeting.
Try it! Let me know how it goes and what else you talk about in your family meetings.