Money is one of the leading causes of arguments in a marriage, but it’s a type of spat that can be avoided easily if you put all of your “cards” on the table right from the start. In order to keep your marriage going as happily as it began, you’ll need to make sure that finances don’t get the better of both of you. Here are some of the best financial tips that can help both partners communicate effectively about finances in order to start planning a successful future together.
1. Be Honest with Each Other
This is key to any facet of a marriage, but especially when it comes to money. When you sit down together, talk about past debts, family financial history, and your spending habits — the good and the bad. Sharing the honest details of your finances means that you not only understand each other better, but you also have the opportunity to help each other improve spending issues and work to build a financially secure life.
2. Budget Together
When you create a budget, you should do it together — every step of the way. Take a moment each week or month in order to go through what you need to spend, what you can cut out, and how much you need to put aside into savings. If only one person is doing the budgeting, it can make a marriage feel unbalanced. Even if only one of you takes charge of the cash, you both need to be involved in the ins and outs of your money flow. That way you can both be on the same page and feel that you’re both equally invested in your marriage’s well-being.
3. Be Smart About Opening A Joint Bank Account
Most married people find that opening a joint bank account is par for the course in a marriage. If you choose to do this, you both need to be smart about how you’re going to use it. If one party is spending way more than the other, and barely saving a dime, this could cause a lot of tension between parties. When you open a bank account together, you are going to keep each other accountable, so there’s no more hiding your bad spending habits or impulse purchases. As stated in the first point, get everything about your finances and spending out on the table, so that you both are aware of how each party will use the joint bank account. Otherwise you might find resentment building if neither party takes responsibility for their spending habits. Protip: open a bank account together so that you can start fresh. Whether it’s a small credit union or large international bank, do your research of interest rates, accessibility, and banking fees together in order to build a strong financial foundation in your relationship.
4. Plan for the Future
Preparing for retirement is something we all should be working towards. Not only this, but making sure to plan for the future as a whole usually always pays off. Those unexpected doctor’s trips, children, romantic holidays that you have always dreamed of — all of it can be achieved when you plan for the future. Open up a savings account, have both parties put in a good 20% of your earnings in there, and watch your joint savings grow.
5. Keep Talking About Finances
No matter what, you can’t stop talking about finances. It doesn’t need to be a daily conversation, but every now and then it’s a good idea to check in with each other to see how things are going. Keep an eye on your accounts and make sure that you’re always communicating when things change (for better or worse). Being open and communicative helps to stop arguments and can lead to a much happier — and longer — marriage.
Marriage is a rollercoaster as well as an epic journey that will be full of incredible highs and a fair number of lows. The one thing you can do to keep it in the green is to not let finances be one of these negative experiences. Make it something that you and your partner are comfortable discussing throughout your married life. If you follow the advice listed above, you’ll be well on your way to both marital and financial happiness.