How to manage finances in a marriage: the one critical factor
Andy here today, talking about another topic that has been important for Em and I recently: how to manage finances in a marriage.
Managing your finances can be tough for anyone, especially when you’ve got debts to downsize. Things can become even more complicated when two people get married and merge their finances.
Money is a common cause of problems in relationships, so how can you manage this?
Before you get married
Like many other things in life, the key here is communication. Start talking about your spending habits, your expectations for the future, and what debts you’ve got.
Be open and honest with your partner, and remember it’s possible the two of you will have totally different ways of managing your money. The earlier you can identify potential tension points the better you will be able to deal with it moving forward (and hopefully together!).
You may also want to discuss what your lives will look like in terms of having kids and how much each of you will work because these will have a huge impact on your finances and debts.
Well now you’ve done it, haven’t you! You’re legally (and financially tied to each other). For some, this thought brings peace of mind. For others, it brings concerns and questions. Either way, talk about how you’re feeling, and how you’d like to manage the finances. Don’t forget to listen to what your partner says too!
– So you might want to re-jig your bank accounts. Will you merge them? Will you keep them separate? So many different options here, and there is no one size fits all. You need to do what works for you.
This was a sticking point for us.
Em wanted everything to be joined. My parents have always had separate accounts, and are still happily married. I wanted separate. What did we do? We bought a house! The way our bank accounts are structured now is that we each have a separate account, our mortgage account, and a joint account. That sounds like a lot of accounts, but they are all under one big pool, and we can both see all of them. This is the perfect solution for us, because everything is pooled for Em, but we still have our own account each for me!
Wanting to read more about mortgages? This post is what you need to read.
– Got life or health insurance? Make sure you find out how this is activated and who benefits from it. You will most likely want to involve your spouse. While we’re on the topic, make sure you will is up to date as well.
The critical factor
If you’ve read through to this point, you’ve heard me say it several times already.
The critical factor is COMMUNICATION. Yep, talking to each other. There is no one size fits all for managing finances in a marriage, all there are is two people who need to make their expectations, strategies, and goals clear to each other so they can understand and work together. After all, marriage is about being in the best team ever, right?
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got some tips for other couples out there, or a stumbling block you’ve come up against. Leave me a comment below.
image 1 by Richard foster, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/e2GVvf, image 2 courtesy of www.aag.com/retirement-reverse-mortgage-pictures