Money and stress often go hand in hand, for example, when an unexpected financial emergency arises. The way a couple handles their finances and such situations can literally make or break a marriage.
1. Top Money Issues in Marriage
Here are the financial issues that are tearing couples apart.
Opposing views towards money
Only a few couples take the time to learn about each other’s spending and saving habits.
If one partner spends without thought and the other saves every penny, there’s bound to be conflict.
Different financial priorities
Couples need to be on the same page about their life goals and financial priorities play a big part in that.
A debt is never good news. If one person enters a marriage with debt, will both spouses work towards repaying it?
Infidelity of any kind is a deal breaker because it ruins trust that is the basis of any strong relationship. Examples of financial infidelity include secret bank accounts, undisclosed debt, hidden purchases, or gambling addictions.
Inability to compromise
Although it may be impossible for two people to get on the exact same page, learning how to make compromises is key to keeping a healthy and happy marriage and spending habits are no exception.
Caring for an elderly relative, medical emergencies, major home repairs or child-related expenses that weren’t agreed on by both parties such as a conflict between private versus public schooling can result in many arguments.
2. Finance Tips for a Happy Marriage
Getting married means sharing a financial future. For it to be prosperous, you need to communicate openly and create a structure to build your future upon.
That means sharing everything from your income to your debts and credit scores. Everything needs to be on the table for the dialogue to be truly open.
Track your expenses
By tracking your expenses you will know where your money is going and you will become more mindful about your spending. For instance, if your utility bill is higher than usual, you can look for a more affordable electricity provider along with looking for ways to make your home and lifestyles more energy-efficient.
Budget is your holy grail that will put everything together. It will help you keep track of your spending, income and net worth. Technology made it so easy with a ton of programs and apps to make it even easier.
Learn about money- together
Your attitudes about money may differ in key ways. You may not always make the right decision about money or investments but that’s part of the learning process as one does not become financially savvy overnight. What matters is that you remember that you are a team which means you are on the same side so just learn from your mistakes and don’t blame anyone, including yourself.
Learn about tax
Filing taxes jointly could affect your finances. A tax professional will be able to give you a full tax picture so you can choose the approach that benefits your finances. He or she can also help you use some tax deductions and/or credits.
Commit and review
Nothing is set in stone. Every line in your budget can change overnight with a baby on the way, loss of a job, a new job, etc. Change is the only constant in life, so budgeting requires you to make adjustments along the way. After all, life is everything but the status quo so why should your budget be any different? As we grow older, we change and so do our priorities and your budget needs to keep up with those changes.
Takeaway – When you enter a marriage, you tie two knots: an emotional one and a financial one. Your finances are just one part of the “what’s mine is yours” and “for better or worse” package. It might not sound as romantic, but a happily-ever-after implies a financial happily-ever-after as well.