Marriage is a happy, sacred bond that is shared between two people that transcends many different cultures and religions. However, one commonality of all relationships, married or not, is the potential for financial issues or dilemmas. In fact, debating about how money should come in, be invested, and spent in general, is the number one issue that married couples will fight about. Let’s face it, even millionaires will have arguments about money occasionally.
Debt is also a major factor, but it is not the only money related point of pain. The higher the debt, the higher the likelihood that an issue will arise. Simply put, the larger the amount of a couple’s overall debt, the significantly more likely that money will be a prevalent issue throughout the marriage until the debt is either resolved or accounted for in another way. As a result, many married couples are tempted to even hide purchases from their spouse in an effort to not bring up a potential issue.
When it comes to money, emotions are extremely intertwined in every single action. This is particularly true when it comes to a couple and their financial situation. As a result, the emotions that surround money also can also impact the overall relationship as a whole, such as increasing the level of stress, increasing the level of anxiety, and even discourage overall communication between significant others. Many relationships often avoid talking about money at all possible due to the emotions that are tied into it. Money related conversations do not have to feel stressful and toxic. Instead, a couple needs only to work on their communications. For instance, by having regular, organized, and transparent conversations about money and financial obstacles can lead to a feeling of trust and hope. A relationship that builds a strong foundation based upon financial transparency can actually help to reduce stress and anxiety, while also cultivating new found respect for the other person.
Swallow Your Pride
One emotion in particular that can become especially problematic in a marriage when it comes to finances, debt, and just money issues overall, is pride. Pride can cause all sorts of issues, money related or not, that can cut down and hurt the other quickly. When pride becomes a factor in an argument involving money though, it can sting even more knowing that one’s wallet or purse is now being impacted too.
The trick to avoiding this common issue, is to be open, honest, and solution oriented. Instead of playing the infamous “blame game,” try to discover the root of the problem and brainstorm ideas on how to prevent it from happening again. Think of ideas and solutions that can solve the problem and make a plan of action to go solve the problem. This option is inherently better than its ugly alternative, of just blaming one another and not fixing the problem.
Simply put, one effective way of minimizing disastrous arguments about finances for a couple is to have an open discussion about financial responsibilities, whether it is paying the mortgage or rent on time, the electricity bills, how much should be spent and how, etc. Knowing exactly who is responsible for what and how is something that will alleviate the “unknown” factor when it comes to who should be paying what and when. Being clear and up front will hopefully result in all of the bills being paid for on time while simultaneously minimize arguments.
Joint Bank Accounts Are NOT Mandatory
A particular stressor in a relationship can be the sharing of a joint bank account. Hey – we get it – the idea of opening a joint bank account can appear to be a great idea at the time when you know that she or he is the “one” and want to share everything in life, including finances. However, putting your own money into a pot with another’s money can be risky, dangerous, and can quickly cause issues in a relationship. Alternatively, it is important to consider the option of keeping separate bank accounts and potentially opening up just one shared bank account. This method would allow each to maintain their own financial decision ability while also providing the option to put money into a pot that can be used to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals. This system also keeps the spirit of individuality, but also keeps togetherness between the couple in the form of a joint account. This idea will not work for everyone, but it is just important to remember the pros and cons of having a joint account. Moreover, there are several different options when it comes to sharing finances.
Create an Emergency Fund
Another helpful tip for a married couple that is looking to ease any money related tension is to save and have an “Emergency Fund.” As the name suggests, this fund would be utilized in dire circumstances and would otherwise not be touched, unless it was to add to the pot of money. Instances where using this fund would be appropriate are purely circumstantial, but typically would include if one spouse, or even both, lost his or her job. Another instance would be if something happened to the family home or vehicle, or even if a child broke a bone or suffered some other health condition. The idea is that this emergency fund is designed for true emergencies that can arise at a moment’s notice and require a great deal of money immediately. In terms of how much should be in an emergency fund, this is fact dependent. A general consensus is that this type of fund should ideally have around four to seven months of living expenses. However, determining what is truly a living expense you and your spouse and family is circumstantial. Another perspective is that there should be approximately one months of living expense for every dependent within your family. Accordingly, it if is just you and your spouse, only two months of living expenses should your target for an emergency fund.
Use the Tools and Technology Around You!
In an effort to make sure your marriage, or any other marriages out there, do not have to face these types of problems, you should consider looking at surrounding technologies and apps that have been created with these problems in mind. Many forms of budget and accounting apps can remove the tedious nature and bad stigma that comes with the idea of it. Instead, some of these apps can actually make it fun and exciting for a couple to even look forward to doing. Many popular finance and accounting apps, such as “You Need a Budget (YNAB),” or “Quicken,” or “Mint,” all have features that let the users have flexibility and incentives for budgeting wisely and being fiscally conservative. These types of products are easy to use and can greatly improve the financial tensions and stress that can slowly divide a marriage or couple.
Being open and honest with your partner or spouse can help to create effective and practical solutions to any financial struggles that you are sure to endure. Moreover, with effort and initiative, money and finances can actually prove to be an exciting and encouraging aspect of a relationship. It can be exciting to accomplish financial goals and can even serve as a method of strengthening one’s bond with the other. Remember, everyone will have financial issues in their relationship, whether wealthy or poor, so it is important to act proactively and take advantage of open communication. Do not let money get in the way of your love and your romance!
More money, more problems is how the common saying goes! Let’s face it, money can definitely be a huge cause of stress and worry in newly established marriage or even a long-term couple. When the wife and you fight, there is a good chance it relates to finances or money. Perhaps the new wife has gone out and spent too much money on bridal jewelry or make-up, or even perhaps the husband has gone out and spent too much on cigars or golfing equipment. Regardless of the form, finances can quickly become a problem in a relationship, or even right after a wedding, if they are not addressed appropriately.