Of all the reasons most married folks cite for their divorce disagreements, money is perhaps the first or the second. Even with all the financial advice out there, marriages are still strained due to fights over money. There are many reasons for this but the truth is many married couples today do not want to listen to vital advice on finance. Here is a breakdown of financial advice married couples do not like to hear.
Joint account and separate accounts
It is important for the married couple to have separate accounts while at the same time ensuring there's a joint account created by both partners to the union. To jointly run your finances or not is always a tough decision for married folks and has to be dealt with.
Ensuring you have some money to spend on your own is also very important and has a way of lessening glaring arguments surrounding the issue of funds. This means you must disagree with the notion that with separate accounts marriage unity is affected and it shows the marriage lacks trust.
Spending money needs to be tracked
Essentially, this is all about a budget and ensuring every single dime spent has been tracked. It is worth noting tracking does not involve pointing fingers at which spouse is spending what amount of money. To track spending and coming up with a budget is not about being guilty or having to look behind your shoulder as you purchase something.
A budget is all about remaining as financially secure as you can. If you do not track your spending and have no idea exactly where your funds are going to, it will be really hard to come up with the right financial goals both of you are comfortable with.
Financial priorities a joint affair
It is important to ensure every financial decision or priority is done by both of you. Understand the most vital areas of your finances. For example, one couple might want to save for days to come while the other might be thinking about purchasing a house. If you agree, see a financial adviser who is well trained to help in setting every priority you have as a couple and you will still have enough money to use on fun things such as taking a vacation occasionally.
Financial matters a constant discussion
Most couples simply talk about money at the beginning of their marriage or just before marriage and leave it at that. Any future financial discussion is not always well received unless of course you make it a habit to talk about financial matters. It is not always easy talking about money since both of you might have different ideas about it. For one partner, money is a source of power and the other security.
Some partners find covering such topics as bills, debt, goals, and savings really hard, and they become defensive or uncomfortable. At such a juncture, you will find seeking the aid of a financial advice, planner, or counselor is a better idea. Couples need to understand where both stand in terms of finances, including every financial goal they might have.
For many marriage partners today, there is the tendency to live from one month to the next and rationalize there is just not enough funds to warrant a saving culture. To be on the safe side, you might want to save about 10 percent of the total monthly income.
The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) released a report in August 2021 that shows that most American families couldn't cover a $2,000 emergency if one arose. While building up an emergency fund may be difficult, the devastation of not having one when needed can lead to great financial hardships that may be difficult to liberate yourselves from.
Once you have saved some good money for emergencies, begin investing in retirement accounts. If you begin saving funds for retirement days now, you can always enjoy that retirement lifestyle you have always dreamed about.
It is important to come up with ways of handling debt. Above all, you need to handle all debt as partners in the marriage or as a couple. It is imperative to avoid shifting blame on debt and claiming the debt of the other spouse is his or her business. This is because even if the debt goes back to the days when you were both single, the credit rating you are trying to ensure remains in good books will be impacted negatively. You will also be paying a lot of interest as you handle your debts separately.
It goes without saying couples do not really want to live without the good things in life such as new expensive handsets, new car models, and top quality TVs. Lots of couples have always rationalized that living without debts and credit cards is virtually impossible. While it is obvious lots of people are living in serious debt burdens, it does not mean you should live without seeking a debt free status in life as you can.
Financial secrets need to be avoided
You marriage is impacted negatively if you keep lots of massive financial secrets to yourself and from your partner in life. For most people, living without complete honesty on debts, secret purchases and other financial improprieties running into hundreds and thousands of dollars is seen as financial infidelity in marriage. You will find such deep secrets have a way of destroying a wonderful promising marriage.
Tough times financially can hit anyone
Most couples forget much as they talk and plan about money and even save gigantic percentages of their income and adopt frugal living, tough financial times can hit anyone and at any time, such as unemployment. You need to know what you would do if your partner became unemployed and whether you would remain standing as a couple and in your family finances.
Accountability in finances builds the marriage
Obviously, you have heard that marriage is hard work. You must be able to be financially accountable to the other spouse on any financial matter without raising your voice. In case you decide on one of you controlling the family budget, it is alright as far as you make it a habit of sitting down often to review the expenses and income and deal with any rising questions.
This is the best way of adding a couple of steps further on accountability that helps ensure the lingering temptation of misusing funds and being unfaithful with family finances has been dealt with.
Shared financial plans
You need to always remain in harmony with the shared financial plan you have come up with. This is not to say the financial plan is an end to itself but simply the starting point in all this. Once you have started life as a couple, it is then you realize adjustments have to be made as much as you can.
The financial plan in place must be the reminder you need on big goals of the family and how they are to be reached. It is also possible to speak with a financial planner to help you sort out any tough financial quagmire in the marriage.
Financial immaturity costs a marriage
As much as you might have the best thoughts and intentions about your family finances, avoid acting alone so that you do not fall into the habit of doing something by yourself using family money. It takes an honest use of joint family money for a couple to engage in a bitter quarrel and fight over funds. You do not want a bitter enemy in marriage but a friend who trusts you and talks with you any time there is a problem.
In case there is any financial complication you might be hiding, it helps to come clean and let your spouse know. From there, talk about it and if you approach this process well you could be building your marriage on solid ground over the long term.
While financial planning does not really bring scintillating romance into the marriage, it is the best source of peace in the family especially if both couples are sharing their goals. It is also essential to avoid the lure of remaining tight-lipped about financial issues when they need to be raised. Otherwise, you could end up building up on marital depression and toxicity that will ultimately destroy your holy union.