4 Ways To Improve Your Marital Finances
Finances are one the three reasons married couples call it quits. Most money issues in marriage come down to one main factor: both partners have different core values about money. Many of these monetary values started early in life and are tough to change. One spouse might have been raised to value saving and investing. The other might have been taught to indulge his or her whims, even if it means living paycheck to paycheck.
It’s tough for partners who view money, saving, and spending in fundamentally conflicting ways to manage household finances successfully as a team. Here are four ways to get started talking about your money.
Avoid playing the Blame Game.
Rather than working together, some partners start to place blame on the other person. This blaming creates conflict and resentment. The financial strain creates stress. Worries over how the bills will get paid, collectors, repossessions, and evictions overshadow positive aspects of your marriage.
Avoiding the blame game won’t fix all of your problems, but it’ll be impossible to fix anything if you’re at each other’s throats.
Talk openly about money.
Communication is the most critical part of any relationship. Communicating about money is one of the most important kinds of communication, even if it might be one of the most awkward.
Money issues add stress to your marriage. To minimize and prevent those issues, it is essential to start with a conversation about your financial values. Understanding each other’s priorities and the how and whys before significant expenses are made can help you plan for them as a team.
Sharing everything from your assets down to your debts.
Start by tallying up what each of you owns and what you owe. Assets include things like your savings and retirement accounts. Your liabilities may consist of student debt, a car or business loan, credit card balances, and even mortgages. When you marry, you're combining your assets, but that also means you take on each other's debts.
Whether you have been married ten months or ten years, you both need to know where you stand.
Start budgeting for your dreams
After everything's been laid on the table, start talking about where the two of you want to go from here. When you start with a positive goal in mind, it is easier to make a budget and stick to it. Make a list of your monthly expenses- fixed and variable. After costs are taken out of your monthly paychecks, what is left over? That leftover is what you have to invest and grow. If your expenses are more than your monthly paychecks, you need to look hard at your expenses and find areas to cut back.
Many couples have a hard time talking about money, but there’ll only be more trouble down the line if you don’t. It’s better to speak early and often, and enjoy the priceless treasure that is your marriage. You can receive more marriage strengthening tips at Marriage in a Box.Sign up for a free trial of the Marriage In A Box online tracking tool!