Fights about money constitute one of the biggest frictions in marriage. Often spouses prefer not to talk about money or just don’t know how to go about it. But there are things you can do to set yourself up for a greater chance of success in your personal finances with the one you share your life with. Here are three simple gifts for reducing fights about money in your marriage.
Important Disclosure: Content on our website and in our newsletters is for informational purposes only. The information provided may (or may not) directly apply to your situation. We recommend that readers work directly with a professional advisor when making decisions in the context of their specific situation.
Valentine’s Day is of course an extremely popular day for marriage proposals. Regardless of which side of the engagement you’re on – or when your engagement occurred – consider how, when and where to wed not just each other, but also your finances.
Fights about money constitute one of the biggest frictions in marriage. While everyone sees financial well-being differently, you can minimize that potential friction many ways.
You would be surprised at how many people don’t discuss finances with life partners. While some simply prefer not to talk about money, others just don’t know how to go about it.
As with other parts of your relationship, keeping the financial lines of communication open is essential for success. An ongoing financial check-up appearing regularly on your calendar – weekly, weekly, monthly or even semi-annually – makes a great way to touch base on current money affairs. Call it your “financial roundtable.”
Sit down and discuss your financial situation, and identify short-term and long-term goals. Developing a clear understanding of where you are financially and where you want to be – in a month, in five years, anytime in the future – goes a long way toward ensuring that both of you work toward the same goals. Not to mention that it minimizes any miscommunication regarding everyday spending and saving.
Perhaps your idea of saving and your contributions to retirement plans and similar accounts differ from your partner’s. But putting a plan together on how to budget expenses and save for common goals reduces misunderstandings and, in turn, conflicts over money.
Creating a family budget (perhaps an eye-opening task for somebody who’s formerly single) starts with aggregating your incomes and writing down every possible expense, including savings and allowance for miscellaneous costs you don’t expect. Whether you allocate $10 or $1,000 to monthly savings as a start, the important thing is that you save and grow those contributions together.
Also, if you have big plans such as a (somebody else’s) wedding, a vacation or a new baby, you can create an additional savings account for that purpose. This allows you to avoid dipping into your core savings.
As you might soon learn from your new life mate, not everyone is born with a knack for managing finances. Even those who clearly understand what needs to be done regarding money are often too busy focusing on other important parts of life, such as making a living, taking care of kids, preserving good health or having a social life.
The good news: your financial advisor can offer technology that can help with personal finances, from mobile banking to organizing your cash flow. You no longer need to invest significant time and energy in understanding your current financial well-being.
Sure, it’s a lot easier to ignore your personal finances then tackle them head on. But as you plan to share your life with someone, set yourself up for success from the very beginning. The more you communicate and work for the same financial goals, the greater the chance for a happy union personally and financially.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance does not guarantee future results or even estimates of actual returns a client may achieve. This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. Opinions and estimates offered are subject to change without notice. We believe the information provided here is reliable, but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. Please see other important disclosures related to StrongValley.com
You are now leaving the Strong Valley Wealth & Pension, LLC ("Strong Valley") website. By clicking on the "Schwab Alliance Access" link below you will be entering the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) Website. Schwab is a registered broker-dealer, and is not affiliated with Strong Valley or any advisor(s) whose name(s) appears on this Website. Strong Valley is/are independently owned and operated. Schwab neither endorses nor recommends Strong Valley. Regardless of any referral or recommendation, Schwab does not endorse or recommend the investment strategy of any advisor. Schwab has agreements with Strong Valley under which Schwab provides Strong Valley with services related to your account. Schwab does not review the Strong Valley website(s), and makes no representation regarding the content of the Website(s). The information contained in the Strong Valley website should not be considered to be either a recommendation by Schwab or a solicitation of any offer to purchase or sell any securities.