One of the biggest reasons marriages break down is money. Remember your marriage is more important than money. Use money as a way to bring you two closer, achieve dreams (like see the world or buy a home), and protect yourselves( have an emergency fund and have wills ready). Money should work for you, don’t let it drive you two apart.
Some people mistakenly believe that if they brush over the topic, then they’ll avoid money arguments. That’s simply not true. It’s the lack of meaningful communication between spouses about finances that causes arguments.
Here’s some tips:
- Pick the right time. Having a financial conversation right after both of you get home is not the best time. Please also avoid conversations during favorite TV shows( My Monday nights are now open for discussion with the writer’s strike continuing.)
- Introduce your concern with politeness and respect. Money can be a delicate subject, as most of us building on what little foundation we learned from our parents.
- Try framing it as a ‘we’ issue. It is easier to handle a situation when you’re both on the same page.
- Write down your priorities after you’ve made an agreement. This isn’t to be used to point out mistakes that will eventually be made. This is a reminder of a joint goal you both came up with.
- Celebrate the victories. When you achieved a goal, no matter how small, celebrate. A nice desert, a massage (my favorite),or a date with your spouse
Now that you have an idea of how you can tackle this conversation Let’s look at some possible topics (my feelings are the regular text):
- Decide on your long & short term financial goals. Don’t just assume that both of you want the same things. Talk about it and prioritize what is important. Having an emergency fund and buying our own place are our two goals right now. We have an emergency fund. We’re saving up bit by bit for the house. I might add if you two are thinking of having kids, talk about the financial implications. Would you do childcare? Who will stay at home with the kids? How will this affect your other goals?
- Divvy up financial responsibilities. Whoever is stronger in this area should handle it, but the other should be kept in the loop and understand how it works. I organize the joint account, but I let my husband know if something different is going on. He also checks the account from time to time.
- Be on the same page on bank accounts. Do you have joint, individual, or both kinds of accounts? Are you happy or is one upset over the arrangement.? We personally pay our bills from the joint, saving for the house jointly, and have leftovers in our individual accounts. That’s what works of us.
- Get your legal paperwork done. This is something we need to work on, as I know I haven’t updated my will since I gotten married. My husband is listed as beneficiary for my financial accounts. We need to get on the ball.
This is a huge topic that deserves more than one post and more than my small viewpoint, so here’s a few bloggers’ takes on it.
- Gather Little by Little Manage your finances together
- Being Frugal Do you know what today is?
- The Simple Dollar Ten Financial Matters I Wish I Had Discussed With My Wife Before We Got Married
- Five Cent Nickel Crash Course in Estate Planning
Any advice that I missed (I know I did)? By the way, yes, I am cheesy; the picture is from our reception.