Wife2CFO: Financial Transparency

So let's have the conversation that you need to have: What to do when your spouse or soon-to-be-ex controls the financial information also known as your need for financial transparency. A silver lining of Covid-19 has been that it's single-handedly changed the narrative for women needing to understand where their money is and who's in charge of it. You have an opportunity with covid as a backdrop to bring this conversation up in a very different way that you have had in the past. This video is not intended to dive into the multiple reasons why you do not have financial transparency that could take an entire day. This session is devoted to giving you a few tips and strategies on not only how to start the conversation, but more importantly, how to stay in it.

1. Like many things in life, time and place matters. We've all heard the cliche. It's all about timing. Do not embark on this conversation after a long day, after a stressful day, or after you may have become financially surprised by a credit card charge, a statement you got in the mail for an account you didn't know existed, or seeing a signature that's clearly not yours on something that's supposed to be. Take a breath, realize that this is not the time to have that conversation and make sure you set your setting up for success 

2. Use the Wife2CFO Roadmap as the backdrop. You were Googling covid-19 freaked you out. What if something happens to you? I don't know where anything is. I don't know what my name is on. I don't even know where our wills are. Do we have insurance?  Say that you were Googling and that you found a document list of things that you needed to have financial information about and you could only fill out 10, 20, 30 or 50 percent of it. Whatever your number is, start with that. Use that as a tool for the conversation. If you feel comfortable showing it, show it. If you don't feel comfortable showing it, you don't have to at least use it as an example of why you need to corral and understand your financial landscape. It's a great tool for the conversation to start. 

3. Number 3, a great way to start any conversation is I need your help. I need your help in understanding our financial landscape. I don't know where anything is. I don't know what's in my name. I don't know if the kids have a college fund set aside. I don't understand the trust document I signed last year. I need your help. Can you walk me through it slowly? Can we make an appointment, just me and you to go through this at a time that works when we're both relaxed and not stressed so that I can understand our financial landscape? This is not a one and done conversation. This needs to be a build-up. It needs to be done in a certain way. And it cannot and should not be done with accusations, anger or finger pointing.

4.  A really good way to start this conversation is also start with the hot button. Often spending, if he tells you that you overspend, ask one question. Explain to me what concerns you the most about my spending. I'd like to understand is the concern he just doesn't want you to spend is the concern. He really sees that the overspending in general of the family is exceeding income and assets. If you don't know, you really need to understand. Starting with that conversation of the hot spot and where things have gone wrong is a great entry point, if you word it well, to start the conversation 

And this is important, you rarely hear me say you can't do this. Let me tell you something to be aware of. If you are in an abusive situation, physically or emotionally, don't go this alone. You need professional help to start this conversation, to keep yourself safe.

Let's wrap this up. Whether your eyes were shut voluntary and now you want answers to your questions or whether you were excluded from the conversation and now you want to start it. Hopefully this gave you some simple starting points, strategies and tips to not only start this conversation, but stay. I care about how you're doing with this. Shoot me an email and let me know how this is going. See you soon.