The strategy is to never keep secrets and always work towards bettering the relationship. Money is important but so are relationships. But that doesn’t mean we let money take control of relationships instead of the other way around. Here are our essential tips on protecting your bond without letting money create problems between the two of you.
Keep a joint bank account
Most couples live in the misconception that keeping separating checking accounts will avoiding money arguments. But we’re here to tell you that this lays the groundwork for major issues with your money and marriage. Marriage is a partnership. It’s no longer “his or her money”.
Since you said “I do” and two became one, separating money and splitting bills might just be a bad idea. So it’s best if you put all of your money together and begin to look at it as a whole.
Deal with debt
Knowing what you’re getting yourself into can help you decide how to deal with it. The same goes with debt or your partner’s debt for that matter — this will only help you in your marriage. Couples should have honest discussions about the debts they bring into a marriage. Coming clean about any bad financial habits will help you plan to handle issues as they come.
Discuss lifestyle choices together
You might be perfectly content shopping at goodwill but your spouse loves to buy name-brand items at full price. This becomes a problem when you have an income that doesn’t support expensive taste.
Marriage is a compromise. If one has expensive taste, consider shopping at an outlet mall. There you can snag those brands at affordable prices. The bottom line is your lifestyle and your actual income need to line up.
Salary differences should not come between you
Reality check. In marriages, one makes more money than the other. While it is tempting to might think you have leverage over your spouse — all thanks to a few extra digits you have on your paycheck — why don’t you look at the full pot as “our money. It’s not yours or mine — it’s ours. There’s no reason to hold a higher income over the other’s head. You’re on the same team. Start acting like it.
Set financial expectations together
When it comes to money and relationships, unmet expectations cause a lot of conflicts. The quickest way to feel unsatisfied is when expectations don’t meet reality — financially of course.
If you’ve had ideas about buying a house right after getting married, you might feel let down living in the apartment you’re renting a year later. Don’t unrealistic expectations pave the way for money and marriage problems!
Keep purchases out in the open
Being unfaithful in your marriage isn’t constrained to an affair. Sometimes if you’re secretly opening a side bank account or stashing away cash without your spouse knowing — it’s deceitful. The same goes with having a credit card your spouse knows nothing about.
Bring all checking, savings accounts, or secret credit cards out in the open with your spouse. Then work on establishing financial trust.
Once the base is set, commit to your shared financial goals and remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Remember always that you’re in this together, for richer or for poorer!