By: Kyle Strozier
It’s been said that the number one cause of strife, arguments and eventual breakdowns in marriage is…money. I’m sure we all know of personal accounts that will corroborate this. I’m here to say, that needn’t be the case for you.
Marriage is a union of two people. However, for many couples, that union stops immediately at money. Here are a few tips to keep money from being a central cause of strife in your relationship.
Combine Your Finances
I counsel couples to combine their finances as soon as possible. This usually includes a joint checking account from which all bills are paid as well as a joint savings account (there are exceptions, but they are rare). This scares quite a few people, but remember this thing called marriage is a union of two people. There are a myriad of reasons for combining your finances. A major one is that “a house divided cannot stand.”
Make Bill Paying Decisions Together
In most relationships, one person is naturally more at ease handling the finances. This is normal. However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people blindsided by reality. It’s usually the same response “I thought so and so was handling it.” In short, both people should be involved with the money. There are techniques to get both individuals up to speed on money matters but at a minimum you should discuss all current and future bills from time to time.
Communicate Financial Concerns Often
This is key. Don’t be afraid to talk about money. Not talking about it can only make a situation worse. You’ll find that after you get in the habit of discussing money with your significant other, it becomes somewhat uplifting as you both begin to recognize that you are a team working toward the same goals. In fact, talking about money moves it from the realm of taboo and mystery to simply one topic among many that couples discuss.
Seek Advice from Reputable Individuals
There will come a time in your relationship when you and your spouse do not have the answer (retirement planning, business planning, college savings, etc). Don’t be afraid to seek out a financial advisor. More importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to do so. Most financial situations have a “right” answer so it’s better to do it “right” the first time.
Don’t Let Money Control You
How do you know if money controls you? When you make financial decisions based on fear, anger, jealousy, spite, loathing, sadness, etc. These are clear signs that your money controls you. As a married couple, you must use all of the tools available in order to make the relationship a success. Recognize that money can be an instrumental tool but, if you don’t control it in the ways the I’ve outlined above, it will surely control you.
You can do this. Best of luck,
About the Author: Dr. Kyle Strozier, Founder of Wealth Matters Co., has worked in the finance field for 10 years. His greatest accomplishments are those of a personal nature: assisting friends and family with “righting” their financial ship, teaching young people to manage their finances, and building financial stability for himself and his wife. He possesses a deep, working knowledge of financial management that extends well beyond cash accounting and includes such items as Equity investing, options trading, bond analysis, retirement planning and strategic analysis. You can learn more about him at www.wealthmatters.co.