New Year’s Resolution: Get Smart About Marital Finances
It is that time of the year when we have to decide that some things have to change. We have to improve more and strive to become better people. Our New Year resolutions have changed a lot in the past couple of years, especially when we’ve established a family and have to worry about this little thing that controls us all – money.
In other words, we need to seriously consider our marital finance and stop spending a lot of money on unnecessary things. The thing is – it is not just you anymore. In marriage, one has to share all the finances with their significant other and it is sometimes a very difficult thing to do. This is hard especially when the people in a marriage have different money spending habits. Here are a few tips on how to get smart about marital finances in the next year.
1. Put everything down on paper
When you get married, it is extremely important to dedicate one whole day to discussing the finance matters with your husband/wife. The most important thing: all the finances/ spendings should be written down.
First and the foremost, both of you need to state what your monthly income is and how much you are used to spending. Once you talk about income, it is important to decide how much you are going to spend on your basic needs and how much on enjoyment. A problem may arise here when one half has to let go of certain things in life. However, there is no greater way to show that you love someone than that.
2. Have a weekly meeting and talk about finances
Having decided on your income and outcome, you now need to hold meetings. They do not have to be necessarily weekly. They can be bi-weekly or even monthly meetings if that is suitable for the both of you.
What is more important is the sole quality of those meetings. At them, both sides should state how much they’ve spent so far and how much they have left. Also, they should state whether money was spent only on them or on the marriage. If one side is spending much more than the other, it is important to discuss those expenses without fighting and try to solve the problem constructively.
3. Try to change your spending habits
We return to the problem from the introduction – to try and change our spending habits. When people are single, their mindset is completely different than of those who are married. However, when this transition is made, people get upset by having to change that.
For example, a husband is used to playing soccer three times a week and each session costs between $30 – $100. In order to make a compromise, the ideal situation would be for him to cut down to two times a week or even one time – if the situation requires. Simply, soccer might just be a hobby and the money can be always invested into something more constructive while you wait for children.
4. Decide on who is in charge
Sadly, there always needs to be one who will have their final word when it comes to the budget. This is simply due to the fact that some people are more aware of the expenses than others. They are simply more prone to planning smartly their income and outcome. The funny thing is – people who are not good with money are usually aware of that and will willingly let the other one plan the budget of the house.
However, this does not mean that the other one should be excluded completely. On the contrary, the one who is in charge gets only to be in charge when important financial matters arise. But when it comes to the everyday spending and earnings, both should be equal.
5. Make a long-term plan for the future
Finally, a long-term plan must be made for the future. Marriage is a path with many obstacles, both expected and unexpected. Marriage is also a path of beautiful things such as babies, and babies cost. Raising children costs.
This is why you should devote a part of every meeting to this plan. It does not have to be 100% specific, but it needs to tell you at which point of time in the future you are going to need money. This is a good reason to start saving as soon as possible.
To sum up, some people say that the money makes the world go round, others claim it’s love. The truth is, once you have money all sorted out, you can let the love turn your world around and enjoy the marriage. However, before that happens, you need to plan everything with your partner and know exactly how and where your money goes.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.