Money is the number one issue married couples fight about, and it’s the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. When we talk about money in relationships of any kind, we’re bound to find some frustration and tension.
No matter how much you love your spouse, merging your lives can be a bumpy (but beautiful!) ride.
1. Discuss your lifestyle choices together
It’s easy to fall into the same habits as your partner. If you plan to keep finances separate, however, it’s important to discuss your financial decisions together and create clear boundaries. Also remember that marriage doesn’t necessarily mean you need to merge every aspect of your lives – particularly when it comes to spending.
2. Recognize your differences
If your partner is a spender and you’re a saver, you’ll probably argue about money frequently. To maintain peace, sit down together and create an open dialogue about financial values.
3. Don’t let salary differences come between you
If you’re like most couples, you probably have at least some disparity in how much you make. If your husband or wife is earning more than you are, don’t let that fact come between you. If they love and support you in every other way, try to think of money as just another thing in life — like your favorite movie or type of restaurant — that doesn’t define who either of you are. The key to not letting it come between you is communication.
4. Keep purchases out in the open
Discussing spending early on in your relationship can help you avoid many problems later on. If you’re having trouble opening up about your spending habits, set up an open account. This way, there are no hidden purchases, and no reason to feel guilty about what you’re spending money on.
5. Set expectations together
Are you each on board with your long-term financial goals? This is a topic that’s too important to sweep under the rug or be taken lightly. Set some time aside to talk about where you both want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years — and whether those dreams align.
Money and marriage should go hand in hand
Cultivating a solid marriage takes time and work. And remember, you married this person for a reason. Believe it or not, you need their skills, insight and perspective — especially the ones you don’t have. They’re your teammate, and it’s time to start treating them like one.
We’re here for you
You don’t have to navigate any of your major life and money moves alone. Whether you’re getting married, moving in, buying a house together or having kids, we can help you figure out how to manage your money in a way that feels good for you.