There are many ingredients to a happy marriage, but one of the most important is being able to see eye to eye on financial matters. Most couples are not completely compatible when it comes to their thoughts on money, but in order for a marriage to succeed, there must be a conscious effort to agree on how the money in a marriage should be spent. Here are a few tips on how to have a financially happy marriage.
For one thing, it is important to first acknowledge each other’s pre-existing financial habits. If you are both savers, financial security shouldn’t be too big a problem, though you will need to each agree to take responsibility for some portion of household expenses. If you are both spenders, you’ll need to restrict your spending to a certain amount and agree to set some money aside for savings. Some banks allow you to do this automatically so that you don’t even have to think about it. If one of you is a saver and the other a spender, you need to find a way to compromise so that the saver feels secure enough and the spender feels free to use money on enjoyable pursuits and fun items. They key is to understand each other’s perspective and create a plan accordingly.
Creating a budget and sticking to it can help relieve some of the stress that finances can put on a marriage. Be proactive about saving money, earmarking either a certain amount or a specific percentage of your earnings every month to be put into a savings account and left alone. Budget for expenses like mortgage, food, gas and other necessities, leaving room for some fun money. That fun money can also serve as a cushion that you can draw from when unexpected expenses come up.
It’s a good idea to have at least one credit card for the purpose of making large purchases like a car or a house, but it’s best to use it only for those circumstances or for times when you know you can pay it off immediately. Just as important as saving money is staying out of debt, and with a credit card, debts can pile up quickly. Don’t spend money that you don’t have, especially on frivolities. If you can remain debt-free, or at least with minimal debts, it will greatly reduce the financial strain in your marriage.