You and your spouse agree on so many things, but if you have differing ideas about spending and saving, the financial stress you both have to deal with will put an undue strain on your marriage. Even if you have been open and honest with each other from the start of your relationship, it’s not uncommon for financial issues to crop up from time to time. Keep the stress and worry about money from unraveling your marriage by coming up with ways to discuss and take responsibility for your joint financial future.
When getting married, it’s easy to pass the financial buck to one partner to have one person in charge of your shared bank accounts, debts, and retirement savings. But, if one partner is kept in the dark financially, it can put a fair amount of stress on the person who is managing the finances. Alternatively, if the partner who takes care of all the financial issues doesn’t stick to a budget or uses credit cards to rack up a lot of debt, the other spouse in the relationship can have an unpleasant shock coming his or her way. Instead of having one person in charge of all financial matters and decisions, take joint responsibility-- even if only one partner is earning an income. That way, you’ll be have a full understanding of what’s in your bank accounts and how much debt you have.
Give Yourselves an Allowance
Another source of financial stress in a marriage occurs when one partner spends a lot more than the other would want on a particular item. If unbalanced spending habits are putting a strain on your relationship, one solution is to create separate “fun money” accounts. You and your partner can each contribute the same amount to the accounts each month and can agree that the money in those accounts is free game. You might decide to save your money for a special occasion outfit, while your partner uses his or her money to purchase books or vinyls. You can set a limit to the cost of items purchased with the fun money, so that you don’t get into an argument when one of you spends 300 dollars purchasing something the other thinks is unnecessary.
Refocus on Your Goals
When financial stress is succeeding in driving a wedge between you and your partner, one solution is to refocus on your goals and redirect your energy towards something you are both working towards. For example, if one of you wants to spend money on a vacation, you can both sit down together and review your financial goals to see if a vacation fits in with them at the moment. If it doesn’t, you can discuss shuffling your priorities if necessary or putting the vacations plans on the back burner.
Learn About Money Together
Sometimes, reviewing the basics of financial literacy together can help ease any strain you and your partner are experiencing. If you’re both struggling to stick to your budget or have slowly let certain financial goals slip, reviewing the financial education curriculum from CESI can help you get back on track.
You and your spouse might have had separate financial goals and different attitudes before you got married. But, now that you’ve tied the knot, you’ve also tied your finances together. Remembering to check in with each other about money and to have regular financial conversations will help you avoid stress and arguments as much as possible.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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