Couples shouldn’t assume they can steer clear of financial problems easily—preventing financial troubles in marriage requires commitment and effort. According to U.S. News, finances are more likely to prompt arguments between couples than any other source of stress, including children and work. To keep money from straining your relationship, focus on communication, compromise, and honesty.
Create a Budget Together
Sit down with your spouse and discuss what the two of you want your monthly budget to look like. Some recurring expenses, like rent and transportation, may be ones you’ve already agreed on, but you may have not yet set targets for optional items. Discussing these now can prevent arguments over finances later. It’s easier to work out disagreements before you make a purchase than to reconcile after the money’s already been spent.
If your budget has room for discretionary spending, set a portion of that aside for each of you to spend individually. That way, both of you can make some small, spur-of-the-moment purchases without waiting for each other’s approval for every little thing. Now you’ll be able to buy your spouse a gift without first analyzing the purchase together, which would spoil the surprise. At the same time, budgeting for individual purchases ensures that one partner doesn’t buy a gift with money that the other thought was going to be used for a car payment.
Compromise on Spending and Saving
Maybe one of you is inclined to spend money while the other prefers to add to your savings. That’s not uncommon—as ABC News reports, researchers have found that people often choose marriage partners whose attitudes toward money are the opposite of their own. If that’s the case in your marriage, you and your spouse should compromise so that each of you feels your approach to money is respected in the relationship. This means spending or saving a little more than you would ordinarily like to. Think of this compromise as an investment in your marriage.
Be Honest About What You Spend
Secrets about money will lead to financial troubles in marriage and can ruin the trust between the two of you. Don’t take on debt or buy something costly without talking to your spouse first. If you slip up and spend more than you had previously agreed to, tell your spouse right away. Then look for a way to get your budget back to what you agreed on, such as returning the item you bought for a refund or working some extra hours to make up for the expense.
Don’t let money become a barrier between you and your spouse. Strengthen your marriage by managing your finances together with respect and honesty.
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