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Financial • 4 minute read

Why keep an eye: Managing finances as a family

Why keep an eye: Managing finances as a family
By Aaron Briggs
Published by Ruby

Ruby helps you and your family work together to prepare and organize finances.

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There are no two ways about it.

Money is an uncomfortable subject and, for most, deeply private. Yet, here at Ruby, we’re asking families to lay all your (or a loved one’s) finances out in the open, and work on them together. So why on earth would we do that?

Because, even though it’s hard, it’s vitally important.

 

Why does it feel so weird to manage money together?

First, there is no real education about money in schools or colleges, and it’s complicated! Unless you’re an accountant, money has a way of making us all feel like we’re unprepared, and nobody wants to look foolish!

 

1. We’re all different.

What we spend says more about what we value than our words. The places we spend our money are deeply personal and completely individual.

For some, a nice car and a good quality jacket may be vitally important to their feeling of self-worth. To others that may seem insane. Neither of those points of view are either right or wrong – they are core values that differ from person to person.

 

2. Shame.

Although we know that what we value is unique and important, we may have heard messages over many years – most often from our nearest and dearest – that diminish these values, and make us fiercely protective, even defensive of them.

 

3. You just don’t.

When it comes down to it, it’s incredibly hard to break out of the deeply ingrained, cultural belief system that says “you just don’t talk about money.”

 

So why is it important?

It’s important for both practical and emotional reasons.

 

Getting Organized

You cannot be organized with your money unless you know all the financial products that are in play. By this, we mean looking at money that is coming in and going out, or is invested – whether in retirement or insurance plans or in the marketplace.

Creating a Ruby Circle is an easy way to see all financial activity in one place, rather than having to assemble a picture from multiple sources. With weekly updates to help spot unusual patterns and tools to help you get organized every step of the way, Ruby is the smartest way to take care of the finances for someone you love.

Bringing everything out into the open and taking an inventory helps you to simplify processes and save time and stress. When you can see a complete picture it also makes it easier to deal with small issues before they become big issues.

 

Planning

The future can look scary if you don’t know how you’re going to pay for it. When you’re organized you can plan for both the present and the future, and you’re way less likely to be blindsided by a financial matter.

 

Fraud & safety

Fraud is a big deal in this day and age.

When looking after a loved one’s finances you need to know the regular “coming in” and “going out” amounts and watch for changes. Add to this looking at cash and check usage (a common source of abuse), and the need to watch credit cards like a hawk.

Ruby provides a SINGLE VIEW of all these things, which can feel like a lifesaver because it’s easy for issues to fall through the cracks when you’re looking across multiple accounts and institutions.

 

Peace of mind

When you take the emotion out of finances and bring everything into the light it is the first Smart Step towards F.I.P.O.M – Financial Independence and Peace of Mind.

 

A problem shared…

… is a problem halved. Ruby is designed to help families work together in trust, transparency, and respect.

As such, families should discuss the decision to use Ruby together, before creating a Circle. This way you know everyone is on board to collaborate, through Ruby, to share information and keep an eye on financial activity.

A Ruby circle makes finances transparent and keeps everyone in exactly the level of “know” that they need.

 

“But it’s my money, it’s none of their business.”

We get it. But, one of the biggest reasons we started Ruby was hearing from people who’d inherited their parents’ finances and didn’t have a clue where to start untangling the complexities of a financial life.

As we said earlier, nobody teaches us finance – we all make our own systems. By giving our loved ones a guided tour of our own systems, before there’s any kind of crisis, we are making our lives simpler today, and their lives easier tomorrow.

 

“But it’s my loved one’s money, it’s none of my business.”

Having an awkward conversation or two now is a lot better than trying to find your way around your loved one’s financial life when they aren’t able to answer your questions.

While it may be tricky to start, we know that the peace of mind that comes from knowing that nobody is being scammed, or that a loved one’s wishes are being honored, is worth its weight in gold.

 

Take good care.

Caring for a loved one is hard enough. With Ruby helping you get organized and take care of finances together, it’s just one less thing to worry about.

Caring for a loved one is hard, you don’t have to do it alone.

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By Aaron Briggs