Money may buy a lot of creature comforts, but it can’t buy love. However, there are ways to manage money during marriage with minimal stress or boredom. Those struggling with finances to the detriment of their marriages should check out these tips on marital money management.
Make Financial Decisions Together
While it’s common for one spouse to handle most bill paying, investments and other financial tasks, it is not wise for the same person to always be in control. Nothing lasts forever, and with a divorce rate over 50%, it is important for both spouses to know about assets, debts, investments and retirement planning.
Be Honest About Spending and Saving
Managing money after marriage is difficult when either partner is dishonest about money and debt. Lying about spending or saving is a surprisingly common issue that keeps couples in emotional, spiritual and financial debt. It pays to be as honest as possible about finances; while it may be painful in the short term, it can save money and frustration in the end.
Ensure Both Spouses Understand the Household Budget
Both spouses should have an understanding of the household finances. This may entail creating a budget that outlines all expenses and income, knowing the family’s financial plans and setting priorities. Both partners should be involved in financial planning, regardless of who makes more money, for the sake of the relationship and the marital finances.
Keep Some Things Separate
Some experts recommend that couples have a joint account for bills, where both partners have equal access, while keeping separate credit and bank accounts. This can help couples control debt by keeping each person jointly and individually responsible for his or her financial future. This tip is one of the most effective for post-marital financial management.
Make Decisions Carefully
Every couple planning to have children should decide whether one parent will stay home, as it has significant effects on the couple’s ability to pay debt and plan for the future. The decision to leave the work force is a significant one, as it affects health insurance expenses, Social Security income and other finance factors. Today, managing money in your marriage isn’t just about a weekly paycheck; it’s about making sensible long-term financial choices for the family.