Financial conflict is the number one cause for divorce in the United States. One of the greatest tests that any couple will face is how they deal with their financial problems in marriage. Since prevention is always better than cure, here are some ways to avoid financial problems in your marriage.
But before we look at ways to tackle money issues in marriage, let’s walk through some common money problems in marriage.
Common financial issues in relationships
- Discovering your partner has a secret account or hidden debt
- Unexpected medical bills due to a spouse’s sickness
- One of you lends money to a friend or relative, but never get paid back
- Inequitable contribution to the household bills
- One of you in in an insecure job position or gets laid off
- You or your partner is an impulsive shopper
- You are both under the pressure of collective debt
How to overcome financial problems
Since finances and marriage problems are so deeply intertwined, most often couples are looking for a definite answer to the question, “how to manage finances in a marriage?”. Now you can beat the financial stress in marriage with these tips on financial stress in marriage.
1. Discuss financial expectations
A marriage is built on expectations, and too often couples make assumptions about each others’ expectations to the detriment of their marriage.
It is important that as a couple you sit down and discuss the financial expectations in the marriage.
Talk about what money should be spent on, what should be shared expenses, which of you will be responsible for paying the bills, etc.
When a couple understands their expectations, financial problems in marriage can be reduced or avoided.
2. Plan for your financial future
A marriage is the unity of two people who promise to live and journey in life forever. Forever may include children, a house, cars and educational advancement. Forever may also include unemployment, death, illness and natural disaster.
It is important that the married couple has a financial plan for the negative possibilities as well as the joyous ones.
Planning will give you a blueprint to overcome financial problems in marriage and reduce the stress of unforeseen expenses and eliminate the ignorance of the cost of these life events.
3. Make a budget
Making a budget should be the golden financial rule for all, but sadly that is not always the case, giving rise to financial problems in marriage.
Making a budget in a marriage incorporates the couples’ financial expectations and financial future, while providing a guide for the couple as financial needs shift over time. Also read Budgeting Tips for Newly Married Couples
Budgeting builds financial discipline, and financial discipline eliminates financial problems in marriage. So make a monthly budget incorporating all sources of income, itemizing all expenses and making appropriate allocations for savings.
How to budget as a couple without fighting while balancing the needs of your partner with your own?
It is important that financial implications of marriage do not strain your relationship stability and by keeping in mind these pieces of useful marriage finances advice, you and your spouse will ace at dealing with financial stress in a marriage.
- Set up a weekly budget meeting to discuss you financial goals including saving goals, debts, spending habits, money investments and ways to build a more lucrative career.
- Set up an emergency fund which should ideally house amount sufficient to cover a year’s expense.
- Follow the ground rule for budgeting to always prioritize needs over wants in the marriage.
- Make a plan to tackle marriage finances together, even if one of the spouses comes with a higher debt.
- Build a strategy for a retirement plan as a couple
4. Face financial problems in marriage when they come up
Even when you set expectations, plan and budget, financial problems in marriage can still arise. One partner may have overspent in one particular month or there is a reduction in the income of another.
So, how to overcome financial problems in a marriage, when there is discrepancy in financial planning versus the execution of the plan?
Learn how to discuss money with your spouse, calmly and productively.
Marriage and money problems are not mutually exclusive. No matter how solid your marriage is, remember, the truth is money fights are one of the potential causes of divorce. Since financial problems cause divorce, couples and finances should go hand in hand.
It is crucial to remember that if financial issues are not discussed, it is a recipe for marital disaster.
Hiding any financial issue whether from the past, current or of the future is not healthy for the marriage. Through communication, the couple can grow stronger and prevent ongoing financial instability or any other financial problems in marriage.
5. Remember your marriage vows
On your wedding day, you made a vow for better or for worse, and this vow should be central to all financial discussions.
It is not a license to be financially irresponsible, but it is the gentle reminder that your love will get you past any financial problems in marriage.
A lot of times the financial problems in marriage that come up are unforeseen, such as a loss of a job, a death in the family or emergency health care. Your vows, held dearly, will equip you with all that you need to overcome financial uncertainty.
Remember the key to beat marriage financial problems is to be on the same page as your spouse when it comes to money. To overcome disagreements over marriage finances, seek financial marriage counseling.
Dealing with potential money pitfalls that can destroy a marriage
A financial marriage counselor and/or a financial coach can help you deal with marital problems that start with money, budgeting issues, financial infidelity and potential money pitfalls that can cause malice between couples.
Taking up financial classes for couples or an online marriage course that covers marriage finances can also go a long way in helping you find answer to the much asked question, ” how do married couples handle finances?”.
We all wish that marriages would just work and that our love is sufficient, but the reality is that each partner must invest time, energy and communication to keep a marriage healthy.