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Mine, yours, and ours: Managing your money as co-CFOs

(NC)-Managing your finances has its challenges - just like managing a successful business. Managing money as a couple? No difference. Whether you're married, engaged or living together, differences of opinion when it comes to the family finances are bound to arise. However, with some mutual planning, communication and support, couples can overcome almost any money obstacle that falls their way.

"Picture your family finances as you would business finances, and like any business, it needs a plan to succeed," says Sandy Cimoroni, President, TD Mutual Funds and head of TD's Women Investor Strategy. She recommends a fresh approach is to tackle family finances together, as co-CFOs.

CFOs are a company's Chief Financial Officer - they invest the company's money, monitor the cash flow, and handle long term financial planning. "By following this approach, you can work together to manage the family finances: determine your overall goals and objectives, then assign responsibilities for managing the day-to-day finances and monitoring progress towards reaching long-term goals."

Whether you're buying a home or renovating your current one, planning a career change, saving for a child's education or investing for your retirement, it's important to recognize the impact that each of these goals has on your overall financial plan. A key ingredient for success is balance - it may be a good idea for one person to pay all the bills, but it's important that both people are informed about where the money goes each month.

Similarly, one CFO may take the lead on investments, but it's important that the investment strategy reflect the long-term goals of each partner, and that each partner have an understanding of how they are investing to achieve their goal. It's essential to find ways to be equally engaged in all money decisions: decide together what is mine, yours and ours.

"Once you have a plan, the everyday financial decisions are understood and endorsed by each partner. This can help remove stress around money management and help provide confidence about your current and long-term financial health," Cimoroni says.

One way to feel informed and in control is to consult an expert, something more and more couples are doing together. From gaining financial education to investment knowledge, advisors help couples work together - and then take their financial plans to new levels of success.

"At the end of the day, working together on finances can be a positive experience," Cimoroni adds. "It's not just about communication. It's about creating and executing your plan, and then reaping the rewards."

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