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How to Make Your Finances and Marriage Work

Don't buy the engagement rings before you talk about finances and marriage

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth—too many marriages fail due to money related issues, according to USA TODAY. No one wants to talk about finances and marriage. Let’s face it: it’s not an easy conversation to have, but it’s necessary if you want your relationship to last.

If you’re head over heels in love with your partner, you probably won’t discuss money. While partners should learn to discuss finances realistically, you should also spend some time learning the warning signs of financial incompatibility.

Red Flags to Look for Before You Walk Down the Aisle

  • Unemployed or low skills: An Ohio State University study found that out-of-work men end marriages more often than employed men.
  • Spender/saver tragedy: As USA TODAY notes, when one partner is a spender and the other is a saver, arguments ensue. They don’t level one another out; they cancel each other out.
  • Differing values: What’s valuable to one spouse may not be as important to the other.

Here are two examples: She values education, but he doesn’t. She wants the kids to attend private school or go to an expensive college; he prefers public education. Imagine the plethora of problems this could lead to. He’s philanthropic and gives to charities, but she couldn’t care less. What do you think would happen if he donates anyway?

10 Things You Must Know before You Get Married

  1. Who will pay the bills and balance the checkbook? Will you have separate or joint accounts?
  2. Do you want children? If so, will one parent stay home or will both continue to work?
  3. How will you finance the kids’ college education?
  4. Where will you live?
  5. Will you provide care or support for elderly parents?
  6. What kind of retirement does your partner envision?
  7. Will you give to charities or support political campaigns? If so, which ones, and how much?
  8. What are your financial goals?
  9. How will you resolve differences if you have conflicting financial goals?
  10. Will one partner support the other’s financial goals if they different?

The key to making your finances and marriage work is communication. Couples that manage their money issues together are a team. They can freely express their concerns, wants, and needs without fear, retaliation, or criticism. If you and your partner can’t do this, maybe you should rethink the walk down the aisle until you learn to communicate. Don’t slip up and fall into a marriage that, in the long run, will cost you much more than an investment in a conversation. If you are a team and can work together, then go ahead and run down that aisle.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons


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