Do conversations about spending cause stress in your relationships?
Even financial advisors are not immune. My business partner David Rappaport keeps meticulous track of his family’s spending. Once, when reviewing the bills, he mentioned to his wife Karen that between her and their two daughters they sure were spending quite a bit on salons and manicures.
Once. That conversation was never repeated, as Karen casually replied, well how much do you spend on your guitar stuff? Karen is a smart woman.
Often, when couples argue about money, it’s not even related to significant purchases. It’s more like:
- My spouse misses the train constantly, and then takes a $40 Uber home from work.
- Another bunch of boxes from Amazon at our doorstop! Enough!
- Every week I am throwing out food we did not use. What a waste.
- We order in too much instead of cooking. What a waste.
- A $7 latte from the coffee shop every morning. Really?
- Every month we pay for his Peloton subscription. Maybe he could use it? (Thank you Karen Rappaport for submitting that one.)
Any of these sound familiar? Causing stress? Maybe adding the “Shari number” to your conversations can help.
The Shari number is the annual amount of spending, in a particular area, that will not be questioned. Or as my husband Stephen, puts it, "Shari won't yell at me if I stay below the Shari number".
Here’s an example. Stephen is a biking enthusiast. Constantly buying new equipment. Instead of me questioning each purchase, we have agreed to set up an annual Shari number for his bike stuff. If he goes above the Shari number, we talk. (It's a short conversation, that goes something like this - "Stephen, return that"). If he stays below it, he can enjoy his swappable carbon spider chainring crankset.
Of course, a Shari number only works if you are keeping track of your spending as part of a budget.
Would a Shari number help take stress out of your relationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Shari Greco Reiches
Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.