Money issues in a marriage are the leading cause of divorce. Therefore, if you and your partner are struggling in this area its time to sit down and sort out your problems before they get any worse. Consider this a high priority. Here are some tips to help you deal with money issues:
- Talk about it at a time when there is no stress. If you both realize that money is causing problems, there’s no point discussing it when one or both of you is upset or angry. Set aside a quiet time when all your financial worries can be aired and hopefully worked through. If you can’t talk through your financial issues successfully you may need to get help from a third party such as a financial counselor or a trusted friend.
- Once all the cards are on the table it’s now time to discuss how you will deal with them. Talk about your feelings in terms of saving and spending; even discuss how your parents dealt with money issues. Encourage your partner to do the same.
- It is time now to be upfront about your spending habits. If one of you is a free spender and the other more frugal, you may have a problem. Getting the spendthrift to reign in their spending habits is just as difficult as getting the prudent partner to open up the purse-strings on occasions. Be prepared to compromise.
- Track your spending. It is amazing how spending money on small items such as the paper, milk, candy bar, new tie, buying lunch, last minute groceries, or a beer after work can all add up. Once you know where all your money goes, you will have a better idea of how to plug up the hole!
- Both of you may wish to have separate bank accounts for spending money. This will take away the guilt when you do buy something not in the household budget. If you have only a certain amount of money put aside for personal spending you will know what your limits are.
- Set yourselves a budget for your household. Setting a spending limit will help to stop the slow leak and make both you and your partner more aware of where your money is going.
- Work out who is responsible for paying the bills. One of you may be better at handling bills and this person is ideal to manage them. However if they feel this is too much pressure, then come to a compromise as to who will pay what bill and when.
- Set your long term financial goals as a couple. These may change as your marriage evolves and so must be revisited at regular intervals. If you know what your financial goals are, such as buying a house, overseas travel, retirement plans etc., you can be focused and work towards your saving goals together.
Once you have worked through all your money issues successfully you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work and being together in a financially secure relationship.