Money and Marriage: 6 Tips for a Happy Relationship
One of the many challenges that married couples face, aside from resolving who should sleep on which side of the bed, is money management. Money, as we all know, can be a tricky thing to navigate, which is why it’s not surprising that it found its way into wedding vows – “for richer or for poorer…”
Nevertheless, despite having uttered these vows, a lot of couples these days don’t seem to get it through together and survive for richer or for poorer as many studies have shown that financial issues are among the major causes of marital troubles. This is why it’s vital for couples to be smart in managing their money and in taking steps to make their finances work through thick and thin.
Here, we share some important money management tips that couples, whether newlyweds or not, should follow to enjoy a lifetime of financial and marital harmony.
- 1. Talk openly about money. Ideally, you and your partner should be able to have the money talk prior to marriage. Be open and honest about your financial situation, obligations, how much you make and how you intend and expect to handle finances as a couple. You can gather important paperwork and financial information, such as bank or credit card statements, bills, loans and insurance premiums, to have a good understanding on where you stand financially. Talking about money can be awkward at first; but the sooner you do it, the better.
- 2. Identify your goals. Whether it’s to build a home, own a car, start a family, travel or plan for retirement, identifying your short-term and long-term goals individually and as a couple is essential so you can set your priorities and take steps to accomplish them. Financial planning might not be exciting nor romantic, but it will surely help you in the long run.
- 3. Create a budget and track your spending. Once you’ve determined your financial position and goals, the next thing you should do is develop a sensible budget. Factor in your income, expenses and savings. It would be helpful if you categorise your expenses, such as food, rent, utility bills, insurance premiums, shopping, and limit how much you spend for each. Sticking to your budget can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding.
- 4. Deal with debt as a team. Debt can be a sensitive issue for couples. This can get even more distressing if one person has brought a significant amount of financial baggage or debt into the marriage due to payday loans gone bad or credit card overuse, while another has managed to stay debt-free. In this case, working out a plan to eradicate debt and live debt-free is of the utmost importance. You can consult a financial planner to help you develop a strategy on how you can solve this debt dilemma.
- 5. Save and invest. The importance of saving cannot be emphasised enough. It would be ideal to save at least 10% of your earnings. Furthermore, if you seek to be in a better financial position over the long haul, you shouldn’t only save but also consider investing.
- 6. Don’t forget to set up an emergency fund. We can never tell when emergencies, such as natural disasters, illnesses or loss of income, can happen which is why it pays to prepare for the worst. Make sure you set up an emergency fund that’s, at least, worth 6 months of your entire household expenses. Your emergency fund should be separate from your actual savings as you should only touch it when disaster strikes. However, should your emergency funds be insufficient, you can always turn to responsible and caring organisations, like us here at Money3, to help you survive any emergency. We offer a selection of secured and unsecured personal loans, as well as a range of fast cash loans to help you address your needs.
Making a marriage work is complicated in itself, and putting money on the equation can only make things a lot more difficult. However, you shouldn’t despair. With communication, trust, honesty and respect, and of course good money management habits, enjoying marital and financial bliss for many years to come is possible.