Keeping your marriage strong can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing your finances. Financial issues can put a strain on your relationship and even lead to divorce. However, you can make it easier by avoiding these seven financial issues.
1. Too Much Separation
Separating income into “ours, mine, and yours” can be problematic if it’s not properly arranged. Simply agreeing to divide up bills and then allowing each other to do whatever they want with their income can stall progress toward joint goals. It can also lead to resentment if what’s available to spend is unequal.
2. No Transparency
Regardless of whether your finances are joint or somewhat separate, transparency is key. Hidden debts or poor individual credit histories can harm you both, particularly if you need to finance something together. As a result, it’s best to be honest, allowing you to work together to handle your joint financial lives.
3. Not Budgeting
A lack of a budget means there’s no framework to direct how your household spends money. In that case, partners may act in a way that upsets their spouse, creating sources of conflict even if that wasn’t their intention. With a budget, that’s far less likely, as you’re both agreeing to a clear plan.
6. Overly Optimistic Budgets
When people create a budget, there’s a tendency toward optimism. It’s easy to assume that both spouses will adapt to strict rules without issue. However, in reality, an overly optimistic budget more often leads to frustration for at least one partner, if not both. Then, that can create strife in the relationship. As a result, it’s best to be realistic when designing a budget.
5. No Goals
Financial goals give you critical direction for managing your joint financial life. If you don’t have any targets, you may figure that spending more doesn’t matter. However, you’ll usually regret that once you do identify a goal, as it means you’re potentially behind where you could have been if you had planned early. As a result, it’s better to talk about goals early and often, allowing everyone to get on the same page.
6. A Lack of an Emergency Fund
Not having an emergency fund means there’s potentially no cash to handle the unexpected. Since something unanticipated is essentially guaranteed to occur at some point, setting aside money for those moments relieves a potential point of financial distress and tension between spouses.
7. Not Discussing Personality Differences
People generally have different mindsets and personalities when it comes to money. While the classic saver versus spender is a clear example, there are far more ways this can go. If spouses don’t discuss their financial attitudes with each other, there’s a chance that any malalignments will turn into disagreements, and that can potentially harm the relationship. Since that’s the case, it’s best to discuss your money mindsets and personalities openly, making it easier to find the right balance that leaves you both comfortable.
Do you have any other tips that can help couples keep their marriage strong by avoiding financial issues? Have you encountered any of the problems above and want to discuss how they impacted your marriage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- Here’s the Best Financial Advice for Newlyweds
- Reddit Personal Finance Can Help Newly Married Couples
- 5 Tips for Creating Your First Budget Together After Marriage