Money issues are common among married couples but how they settle them depends on proper communication and having an open mind. Not all couples are lucky to have a healthy financial relationship as some who are not able to come up with an effective system often ends up in divorce.
A 2012 survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts covering married or cohabitation couples found that 27 percent of Americans claimed that disagreements over money are likely to lead to an argument. A separate study in 2011 noted that married couples who disagreed over money at least once a week were twice as likely to divorce.
There’s still hope, though, because any adult has an opportunity to learn the ways to handle their personal funds even after getting married. It’s a matter of trust, openness and honesty.
Financial transparency is vital and the foundation of effective communication. It is, therefore, a good idea for couples to disclose their financial records before they tie the knot. They can show to each other their bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts and student loans, if any. Sharing credit reports and FICO scores are also recommended by the experts.
Experts confirm that spouses who are not open about their finances usually have difficulty establishing an intimate relationship. Not being transparent cultivates financial infidelity, they stressed.
Couples should not hesitate as well in discussing about their future life and financial goals whether short-term or long-term. By doing so, you will be able to come up with a strategy that will help you pay your debts moving forward and manage your personal finances.
Being open about your spending habits early on will be beneficial in determining how you’re going to spend your funds. Sometimes, the spending habit one has developed from his teens to adulthood does not always match with that his or her spouse. But when you are able to discuss these issues, you will be able to agree on a budget and stick to it moving forward.
Mutual trust on money matters is as important. When you have this, it would be easy for you to consider each of your individual earnings as joint money or “our money.” If you are able to do this, you will not hesitate to have a joint account where you contribute your monthly income and get from there your monthly expenses.
Psychologists point out keeping separate bank accounts can lead to problems notably if one spouse earns more than the other.
For couples who often find themselves arguing about money, seeking professional help is a good move. This way, a third party will be able to give advice and guide you on how you should save and spend your income.
When debt is involved such as in the case of couples who don’t have regard for their spending, a financial planner can offer guidance on budgeting, settling debt and long-term investment goals.
Meanwhile, couples who use money as a weapon to get back to their spouse should seek a marriage counselor instead. A marriage therapist will help you work through your relationship problems which, in turn, can help solve financial issues.