Congratulations on your marriage! You must have heard that marriage takes a lot of work to succeed and that applies to your financial life as well. Most major fights in marriage are about money, so once you have this sorted out then you should be able to have a fight-free marriage, at least where money is concerned. Interested? Then pay close attention.
Here are a few easy tips that will help you navigate money matters in your marriage without getting into unnecessary fights:
Honesty is the best policy
Yes, this applies everywhere, especially where it concerns money. Tell the truth about your assets and all your liabilities. Let your partner know about your sources of income, your bank accounts and more importantly, all your debt. After all, you should be able to trust him/her with your life and that is worth much more that your money (and pride) right?
If you want to really know yourself, ask someone else. You will have to be observant of each other’s spending and saving habits to be able to have a workable financial plan. Determine which one of you is more of a spendthrift, and set up agreeable means to manage the expenditure without stifling them. Remember you are both on the same team.
Now that you live together, there are obviously shared expenses. Make sure you plan all these out carefully and assign them to whichever individual can comfortably handle it. Be reasonable, do not take on more than you can handle. Base your decisions on number one above.
Decide where you would like to be financially and what you need to do to get there. If you are still young, then you have quite some time to build assets together to secure your future and that of your children (fingers crossed!). Everyone needs to chip in here as well, again based on number one.
Joint account or Separate accounts or both
This can be rather tricky and often times it is better left to couples to decide what works best for them. Most people prefer both so that the joint account caters to ‘our’ expenses while the separate accounts are for ‘my’ expenses. Just make sure you have clear definitions of these two expenses.
Set a time to discuss money matters. It is no use trying to plan when either one of you is not up to it. Set it up like a business meeting and make it as brief and productive as you can.
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