My household was not exempt from experiencing the heartache the Great Recession brought millions of American families. When my husband was laid off from his job in 2009, we had no idea what was in store for us over what has turned into a four year journey.
As we have embraced our life as a one-income family, I have found that teamwork, communication, and honesty are the three themes that best helped us avoid some of the pitfalls many couples encounter when it comes to money management.
Here are some real life examples, based upon my experience on how to talk to your spouse about money and thrive financially as a couple.
1. Teamwork – “My-Money, Your-Money” Mentality Has to Go
Teamwork. You have to adopt a team mentality in all facets of marriage, and even more so in your finances. No team can win a game if only one player is doing all of the work. After the layoff, I never adopted a “my-money, your-money” mentality because I was the only one working. My husband is my life partner, and his role in my life exceeds the limits of a paycheck.
We operate in a spirit of togetherness by sitting down and going over our finances together each month. It only takes a few minutes for us to discuss what bills have been paid, what others are due soon, and what other expenses might be coming up. It keeps up both accountable and in the loop about what’s happening with our money.
2. Communication – Talk about Everything
Communication. You have to be able to talk to your spouse about everything surrounding your finances. Is there a big purchase you need to make, like a new appliance or home repair? Talk about it together before a decision is made.
For example, I take a trip to Dallas every year to visit my sister. Before I would even think of purchasing my ticket (even though I travel at the same time annually), I talk to my husband about what the numbers are looking like, so I make sure the trip is within our reach. If it isn’t, we take steps to plan for it – even if it takes a little longer, so that when I travel, I can do so in confidence that our finances aren’t greatly affected.
3. Honesty – Truly is the Best Policy
Honesty. No good can come from lying to your spouse about money or hiding things from them. Honesty truly is the best policy. I earn extra cash each month as a freelance writer and most of my payments go to PayPal. It could be very easy for me to keep that account a secret from him, but that simply is not something I desire to do. Building trust in your marriage encourages a sense of security. When we feel secure, intimacy increases. So why would I let a few dollars potentially keep me from feeling closer to my husband?
By putting the themes of teamwork, communication, and honesty into the financial aspect of your marriage, you are taking great steps to ensure your success as a couple. Do what you can today to work together to control your money and not let it control you!
Tell us, BMWK family, how do you and your spouse handle money?
like what you're reading?