Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category

My first budget meeting with my wife

Monday, November 26th, 2007

My wife and I have been happily married for 24 years now.  

Ever since an almost tragic accident happened to our second girl, when she was 3 months old, my wife and I decided that she would be a full time mother and home manager, whilst I brought home the bacon, so to speak.  

It was accepted that I’ll be the general and she the major. So she made all the major decisions, while I made the general decisions. 

Though we never make any significant purchases without consulting each other, (now we consult our two elder girls, too), my wife and I have never sat down and drawn up a family budget together. 

I took the plunge this year.

I fortified myself with a wealth of advise and ideas from :- 

a)    LazyMan’s “How to have a successful budget meeting with your spouse”, 

b)    Yahoo Finance’s Five-point peace plan to help couples avoid a war over finances, and

c)     Millionaire Mommy Next Door’s “How to make money management a family affair”. 

I am the accountant in the family, so I drew up the monthly list of expenses, expected for 2008, and discussed it with my wife. (I think this is also the first time, my wife has a clear and complete understanding of the expenses of our family).  

We have now agreed that we shall have a budget day every month to review actuals against budget. 

I am glad and actually feel a sense of relief that we have done this.  I am looking forward to the day when the family is comfortable with the monthly budget day, and we can then move to Stage 2 - Implementing the Millionaire Mommy’s great ideas to make our family money management a family affair. 

I am sure that many couples do not have family budgets. Perhaps because of earlier experiences or disagreements on spending etc. After all women and men do not think alike, do they? 

I ask you to persevere. I am sure only good can come out of this joint facing of the major issue of family expenses.   

Why not have regular, formal Family Meetings?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Meetings are an important vehicle for human communication 

In a meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing a (usually) predetermined topic such as business or community event in a formal setting.

                                                                      Source : Wikipedia 

Most of us will agree immediately that communications is an important factor for families.  In fact, many families do have family meetings.  I am talking here about formal meetings, where the decorum and protocol of meetings (most of it, anyway) are observed.

Matters such as : 

-       Notices of Meetings. Family members are told in advance of the meeting, agenda and the venue and time. 

-       Appointment of Chairman and Secretary of the Meeting 

-       Minutes of Meetings are takenThe “Secretary” takes minutes of the meeting. 

-       Minutes of the previous meeting are read and approved as part of the meeting agenda. 

Our family has been observing this since 1992. Then our family consisted of our two elder children who were then 6 years and 5 years old respectively, my wife and myself. (I appointed myself as Chairman and was also the Secretary.) 

We have the minutes of the meetings, since our first family meeting held on the 26th April 1992. (Unfortunately, I did not note the time and venue of the meeting.) 

Since then we have had meetings that :- 

-         discussed the household chores the family members were expected to do,  

-         discussed locations for holidays, 

-         had an attendee who was 3 months old, (on the 10th April 1994, when our son was 3 months old) 

-         resolved children disputes, 

-         had my children’s cousins as “invited guests”, 

-         had a member who slept throughout the meeting. (On the 30th July 2000, when our youngest girl, Ain was a year old ).  

I take pleasure in going through the old minutes. The similarities of the shenanigans done by the two older girls and their younger sisters 10 years later are so glaring. 

Now Aja takes the minutes, though I am still appointed Chairman.  We find that this event of the “Family meeting” is fun. It also teaches the children about the formalities to be followed in conducting meetings.  

Every once in a while, the meeting turns into a “complain” or a “blame assigning” session, but by and large, it is a great way to promote family communications. 

How you tried this? Tell us about your experiences. 

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