Managing Money With a Partner with Julia Lilly – EP 371

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They say it takes two to tango, and so do our finances! Even relationships with the strongest foundations struggle to manage their finances together. In this episode, Jen and Jill, together with Julia Lily, talk about steps to improve ways of managing money with your partner.

Values differ from each other. We’ve got these ideas in our heads, but they might look different; we might implement and execute them differently.


  • Scrolling on your phone in bed. Every couple’s favorite bed time pastime. If you can’t wait to put your kids to bed and crawl into bed with that special someone to scroll on your phones together, then this one’s for you. One day you’re going to need to freshen things up with new phones, so start saving now.

    Start a tasteful new phone sinking fund in your HYSA. We love CIT Bank because there’s no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees. Those are real mood killers. So if the sparks in your bed are coming from your phone, head to to start your new phone sinking fund.

Julia is a Certified Financial Planner™️, Accredited Behavioral Finance Professional™️, and the founder of Ryerson Financial. She started Ryerson Financial as an advice-only financial planning firm to make financial planning more accessible to mid-career families and individuals who struggle to find unbiased advice. Julia’s goal is to help clients live healthier financial lives and work towards building a solid financial future.

Common Money Disagreements Among Couples

Julia has mostly seen from her clients differing opinions on their sleep at night fund as a huge concern. Sleep at Night Fund is the fund that helps you sleep at night–Is it a hundred dollars at the bank or a 12-month emergency reserve fund in cash that helps you sleep at night? There are also couples whose partners see spending as a chore, whereas they might get the thrill of spending. Common money disagreements among couples are quite a gamut, but mainly it’s aligning both parties in their cash flow management and goal planning.

Hear Them Out!

Bringing different perspectives together and aligning them is Julia’s primary solution for couples with differing opinions. Through working together on goal planning and framing it into short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, we can guide the conversation so it doesn’t get stuck. Every engagement for Julia is a financial perspective assessment because listening to the whys behind someone’s perspective creates an understanding of why they behave or think.

Goals + Values inform us of where we want to allocate our resources. Asking your partner what success looks like for them is a great starter for conversations on finances. You kind of learn more about yourself in the process because that exercise also forces you to try and articulate.

Building Trust and Creating Transparency

Julia sees the need to shift the gendered roles in managing finances, where the woman is in charge of paying the bills and the man finds ways to earn money. There should be communication on both sides—even in combining finances. Practically and tactically, it is a lot easier when one person is able to play the point for all these different things in our finances. Create open lines of communication so each partner is aware of what’s going on and recognizes and understands different people’s interests.

Overlooked Concerns about Managing Money

There are concerns, topics, and conversations couples often overlook, one of which is managing who plays the role—the fair play exercise where you question how each other recognizes the value each of them is bringing or what they’re doing. For instance, one partner plays the role of paying bills and managing finances, versus the other, who reminds them to save money.

There are also concerns about not wanting to talk about passing away and the assets that will be left behind if they were to pass. These are important conversations to have with your partner. Having proactive communication means trying to make sure each one of you stays ahead of having a conversation and putting a little element of fun in it.

Lightning Round

  • Julia: It’s not more of a challenging topic, but a recent major money hiccup on estate caused miscommunication and misunderstandings. 
  • Jill: Eric, Jill’s husband, loves and values eating out, but she is more of the saver between the two.
  • Jen: Contrary to Jill and Eric, Jen loves spending on coffee and alcohol, which her saver husband does not understand.

Get more from Author

Bill of The Week

Thank you Julia for sharing your bill about shoulder surgery for husband that you already paid!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:

Frugal fun friends

Jen and Jill are the fun friends that we all wish we had with us everyday. I love that it feels like you are hanging out with two best friends who understand the struggle of being a young person (dare I say millennial?) with student loan debt and trying to overcome/deal with pressures from society. Friday’s have become even more special because these two ladies let it drop every week with a dope new podcast. Never disappointed, I highly recommend this podcast; you will fall in love with them just as I have. If you like money, minimalism and fun people, this is going to be your jam. 🙃👌😏

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, please take a minute to leave a rating and review, it helps potential new listeners know what our show is all about!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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