Tips To Help Couples Stop Fighting Over Money
Plenty of things can kill the romance in a relationship. But, more often than not, it’s money, financial issues, and all the complications that come with money talk and financial stress that seem to be at the root of the most difficult marital battles we go through.
When dealing with finances in marriage unless both spouses are financial planners and financial experts, money issues and money conversations generally don’t come easy.
It often looks like other superficial things, but when we dig right down into the root, money and personal finance seem to be one of the biggest struggles a couple can have in their marriage.
Budgeting and a spending plan is a good place to start for your household expenses and more. Click here to get your own free printable Monthly Budget Worksheet.
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Even from the very beginning of the marriage, it’s a good idea to seek financial advice for financial decisions and seek out the help of a financial advisor to help get your finances on track and get financial freedom as well as to get a better understanding of your household finances, fun money, and any investment decision.
You need to figure out if you’re going to have separate accounts or a joint account. There are many different ways you can go about this and good communication is key.
Dan Carter an Investment Advisor Representative for Safeguard Investment Advisory Group has a few tips to help us not fall into this trap:
“I’ve worked with hundreds of married clients and have seen a lot of spending habits over the years, both good and bad,”
“There’s no doubt that when the numbers in the bank account start dropping, the tempers can start flaring.”
Carter recalls that when he and his wife were planning their wedding, the minister declined to perform the ceremony unless they met with him three times beforehand.
“Guess what he talked about – money,” Carter says. “He said money can cause a lot of problems even in a healthy marriage. When the wolves are at the door because of student loans, excessive debt, maxed out credit cards, etc., couples stress, argue, and often break up.”
In fact, 20 percent of couples say that financial problems and decisions cause tension in their relationships every day, especially in the first year of marriage, and 31 percent say money issues lead to stress weekly, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council.
The key is for couples to get on the same page about money, Carter says. Tensions can’t help but grow if one spouse is extraordinarily frugal while the other is a spendthrift.
Here is what he suggests:
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Sit Down And Talk About What Is Important
If a husband’s financial long-term goals and a wife’s financial goals are at odds, trouble is inevitable. He might want to stash more away for a retirement plan. Her chief financial priorities and concerns might be saving enough money to help the kids through college.
The important thing is that each understands the other’s priorities and concerns, and then they can work from there to figure out their financial situation and family plan, Carter says.
Understand There Must Be A Balance
Some couples spend recklessly racking up massive credit card debt, while others go to the opposite extreme, fearful of parting with any amount of money for anything other than basic necessities. Being disciplined, but treating yourselves once in a while is the right way, Carter says.
An occasional splurge isn’t a bad thing. Couples can benefit from a dinner at a nice restaurant or a weekend trip to the beach. “The problem is when splurging or spending too much money becomes the norm,” Carter says. “But life shouldn’t just be one dreary chore after another. You do need to live a little.” While still having a game plan.
Ignore The Joneses
Let your neighbors, relatives and co-workers do what they do, buying unnecessarily expensive cars, living in houses they can’t afford and traveling to exotic destinations that are really outside their budgets. Enjoy life, but live within your means.
“There are plenty of sayings about money, like ‘money can’t buy you love’.” Carter says. “Those sayings may contain a little truth, but I’d say money also can be a useful tool, a very positive thing. If you use it wisely, it can enhance your life and your loved ones’ lives, too.”
Financial planning and financial responsibility for married couples is a great investment in your marriage, make sure to take the time to find a personal financial advisor to save yourselves a lot of headaches down the road. It’s also a great way to learn how to put your right financial foot in front of the other.
About Dan Carter
Dan Carter, an Investment Advisor Representative for Safeguard Investment Advisory Group, has 18 years experience in the insurance and estate planning industry. Carter also is the radio host for a financial radio program, “The Big Picture Radio Show,” on KVTA 1590, Ventura County’s Gold Coast “News Talk” station. Carter holds California Life-Only and Accident and Health licenses (#0C32681), and holds a Series 65 license, and is registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).