When you made vows “for richer or poorer” to your sweetheart, you probably didn’t realize the role that money would play in your marriage. Yes, money and marriage go hand in hand once a couple says, “I do,” but that doesn’t make the topic any easier for partners to talk about.
Communication is key to a healthy marriage, especially when it comes to financial matters. The sooner you learn to discuss your debts, income, and financial plans with your partner, the better.
But what happens if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye about how to spend or save your money? This can put tension and stress on the marriage. Don’t let money matters complicate your happy marriage.
Here are 7 tips for balancing money and marriage, and how you can learn to talk about money without cringing.
1. Talk Openly About Finances
Because both partners were raised differently, they may have opposing views on how to budget money. That’s why it’s so important to be clear and concise about how to handle your finances once you are married.
Healthy communication is key. To do this effectively, both partners must learn how to listen, empathize, and offer their undivided attention to one another.
Communicating about money and following through with your promises helps build trust in a marriage. When you build up a trustworthy reputation with your spouse financially, paying your bills on time and not misusing your shared income, you create a sense of peace within the relationship.
One great way couples can learn to talk about money is by taking an online marriage course. Doing so will help teach partners various communication techniques for approaching sensitive topics.
Taking an online course can also help couples work as a team and set shared goals.
2. Create a Budget Together
Budgeting is a great way to get on the same page about your finances. Couples should start by making an honest review of their income and expenses. It is important to be honest about any debt you are bringing into the marriage.
It may be embarrassing to admit you have outstanding debts to your partner, but it is important to be transparent about them so that you can factor it into your budget and tackle debt as a team.
A budget will help you manage your money and is especially helpful for couples who are newly married. Budgeting encourages couples to save, pay off debts, get a clear idea of where their money is going each month, live within your means, and set spending limits.
3. Write Down Goals
It can be very frustrating if you love to save money and your spouse loves to spend it, but don’t get discouraged. Money and marriage are all about compromise. Don’t be stubborn with your spouse.
By supporting one another and meeting in the middle, you contribute to personal growth and development. Compromising in marriage can also lead to a more peaceful, loving relationship.
4. Create Long-Term Goals Together
Managing your money as a single person is challenging enough, now bring someone else’s finances into the mix and the results can be overwhelming, to say the least.
To balance money and marriage, partners must learn to include one another in financial decisions, such as long-term goals. Creating goals together will bring you closer as a couple and help you learn to think as a team.
Such goals may include:
- Save enough money to comfortably start a family
- Buy a house
- Buy a car
- Save for a big vacation
- Pay off debts
- Retire by a certain age
Setting goals with your spouse allows you to identify areas of weakness and create positive challenges for yourselves that will contribute to your personal growth.
5. Learn to Think as a Team
In a sample study of 80 Brazilian couples, results found that money was one of the biggest problems faced by married partners these days. This is often because partners don’t know how to tackle money and marriage as a team.
Instead of using disagreements as an excuse to be rude or say hurtful things to one another, partners should view it as an opportunity to come together and strengthen their marriage.
Learn to listen to your partner’s point of view and give them your undivided attention when it comes to solving financial matters. Remember that you are partners, not enemies.
6. Be Open to New Ideas
Don’t think of yourself as the highest power when it comes to your financial future. Your marriage is a partnership of two unique individuals who each have their own strengths.
Your spouse may be more experienced and disciplined than you are when it comes to certain financial matters.
Be open to new ideas and let your spouse’s experience rub off on you. Together you can teach each other about the importance of saving, getting out of debt, managing your money well, and splurging.
7. Have Monthly Money Meetings
One study, done by E. Mark Cummings, a Professor and Notre Dame and Chair in Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, studied the arguments between 100 husbands and wives.
Out of a series of 748 instances of conflict, couples did not report money as the most important argument they had.
However, they did state that disagreements about money were “more pervasive, problematic, and recurrent, and remained unresolved, despite including more attempts at problem-solving.”
Having monthly money meetings will help you and your spouse to be more comfortable discussing your finances. It also allows you to correct any budgeting errors, celebrate your financial successes, and set new goals for yourself in the future.
Money and marriage don’t have to be a complicated union. Make money matters stress-free by learning to communicate about your finances. It’s also important to compromise and make goals together as a couple. This will help you work as a team when discussing your finances.
For more articles on money or creating a healthy marriage, start here:
3 Phrases That Will Strengthen Your New Marriage
One Thing That Will Improve After Your First Year of Marriage
A Girl’s Guide to Smart Spending
6 Steps to Be Prepared for a Potential Recession
5 Things I’ve Learned in a Decade of Wifing
10 Simple and Unexpected Ways You Can Save Money
5 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Bills
7 Money Tips When You’re Thinking Marriage
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