You are happily married and running a home with your spouse.
Your marriage partner is the single most important business partner you have, and your credit, financial reputation and overall economic picture is closely tied to this person who may or may not have the same feelings and thoughts about money that you do.
Talking about money and finances can be difficult with anyone, and it poses particular challenges when the conversation is with your spouse. Yet, with the current financial environment, money can be an even greater source of stress and disharmony in what would otherwise be a perfectly happy marriage.
To keep your marriage healthy and happy, it is imperative that you both have an open and honest two-way communication in the area of finances.
Financial Planning for Couples
As a guide to some important points of discussion, here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Be open and fully aware of each other’s financial situation.
As a married couple, you and your spouse have a tremendous impact on each other’s financial picture. From how much money you each earn, to how much debt you each carry, to each other’s credit score – both of you are affected by the other’s financial situation.
Have an open discussion with your partner about finances, and if necessary hire a professional financial advisor to guide you and help steer you both on the right track.
2. Get to know each other’s spending habits.
Discuss each other’s spending habits openly. Look at each other’s bank statements and have a frank and honest conversation over where each of you chooses to spend money. As two halves of a household budget, each of you plays an equal part in managing how much money is left at the end of the month after all the bills have been paid.
3. Establish who is in charge of “paying the bills.”
Paying the bills is a necessary part of every household and there needs to be someone in charge of this essential task. Decide who will pay the bills and when this will be done on a regular basis. If you each have separate bank accounts and are responsible for separate bills, know which account will pay which bill and make sure this is done regularly.
4. Reduce your debts
One of the main challenges in today’s credit card and EZ financing society is the easy allure of impulsively buying things on credit.
The “Buy now and pay later mentality” has been responsible for many failed marriages and can aggravate an already stressful home situation.
If you are currently carrying balances on credit cards or any other type of outstanding debt, work towards reducing and eliminating this stressful load off your back.
5. Get a credit card in each spouse’s name.
Although this may at first sound counter intuitive, each spouse should have a credit card in his or her own name to build their credit score. Watch for unnecessary spending, but use the card at least a few times each month and pay them in full at the end of the month.
Over time, this will help build both of your credit scores which will come in very handy should you ever wish to make a large investment requiring credit such as purchasing a home or financing a car.
There are many areas of discussion when it comes to finances within a marriage and these are only five examples.
Still, by exploring these five areas first and approaching the topic openly and honestly with your spouse, you can prevent future unpleasant situations and misunderstandings that can interrupt the harmony of your otherwise happy marriage.
Do you have any personal financial tips that help keep you and your spouse happily married?
If so, share them with us by posting a comment!