Jasper and TiYanna (2)

How the Smith’s roll


In every episode of our podcast, Love In The Black, TiYanna (my wife) and I discuss how we tackle the finances in our family. We are very transparent about our conversations in hopes that other couples might try out some of the things that work for us. A lot of married couples don’t talk about money, which is one of the leading causes of divorce.

What if more couples were as open and honest about their financial issues as us? (Note: we’ve only been married for a little over two years, so I’ll probably need to update you when we hit a marriage milestone like the 5-year or 10-year mark.)

I’m a financial planner, and having spent so long dealing with couples and their money issues, I refused to be the next victim, the next statistic, the next cautionary tale, and TiYanna felt the same. So, early in our dating life, I shared with TiYanna something that I did consistently, that I hoped one day she would do. I update my balance sheet every three months. I explained to her that this was how I measured my financial success. Whether I had a good quarter, a bad quarter, or somewhere in between, I would look at my numbers.

When she asked me why I update my balance sheet regularly, I told her I treat myself like a publicly traded company. A publicly traded company has to do an earnings report, plus a call, and share what happened with their business with the entire world. As a result of earnings reports, a company’s stock price will go up and down based on how the world feels about that report and its future. So, if it’s good enough for a publicly traded company, it was good enough for me as an individual.

I appreciate TiYanna’s willingness to participate. She admitted that she was a little nervous about doing this with me, but I told her that I didn’t necessarily want to see her numbers. I wanted her to do her balance sheet so she could begin to track her progress. Then, when she felt comfortable sharing, she could. Honestly, this was part of my wifey vetting process. I needed to know if this would be an issue in the future. I didn’t think it would be a deal breaker, but I’ve encountered too many people who have gotten divorced because of a financial incident.

I wanted to be transparent with my future partner, but others didn’t feel the need to do so. I’m not saying it’ll always end in divorce, but I didn’t want to chance it. Kudos to TiYanna for her willingness and courage. I know this is not typical in most households, but the Smiths aren’t the typical family. I mean, Mr. #BuildWealth can’t have a situation where he’s not having a financial conversation with his boo thang.

I want to encourage all couples to have the discussion, and you don’t need me or some other financial planner, advisor, coach, or counselor to do the work. You just have to set a time and get it done! And if you’re uncomfortable with having the talk, I’d recommend having an adult beverage if that’s your jam. Or, do it over dinner, smoothies, or coffee. Make it comfortable enough for both parties to be open and honest. That’s the key.

The #BuildWealth Movement™ works tirelessly to Disrupt Generational Poverty™ for everyone so their kids, kids, kids can live a life of privilege.

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