Some say money can’t buy happiness. While money can definitely make life more comfortable, financial woes in a marriage are one of the most common reasons for divorce. Fortunately, just talking about money can ease the pressure. Here are some tips for married couples to get the conversation started.
Talk about money before you marry. Many couples put off talking about money before they are married, but that can lead to friction past the honeymoon. Give yourselves a financial check-up as soon as possible. Get to know each other’s finances, and set goals for your future together. You can merge your money and spending with long-lasting ease.
Define your goals. Talk about the life you want to build together. Develop a financial plan. A home, children, their education, and how you’ll help each other through health, sickness and retirement. Open a savings account together for specific goals or just a rainy day.
Create a family budget. Get all of your bills and paperwork together and put it all on the table. Decide together what your priorities are, set spending limits – and this is important – agree on a set dollar amount both of you can spend without talking to the other first.
Share costs. From a mortgage to a car, to food shopping, sharing the cost of living can make life more fulfilling for both of you. Agree in advance on how much each partner will contribute. Should you open a joint checking and savings accounts? Definitely talk about it, consider the options and decide what works best for you.
Keep communicating. Financial secrets can break up a marriage. There should be no surprises. Be confident in your financial discussions. Set a “date night” monthly to go over what you’ve earned and what you owe.
Support through better or worse. Partners can take the stress out of their marriage by agreeing in advance to support one another through the ups and downs that occur. Deal with the fact that one spouse will have greater earnings than the other (in 25% of marriages, women out-earn their male spouse).
Perform regular financial check-ups. Recognize that things change. Once or twice a year, reevaluate your financial approach, and make adjustments when necessary.
Be better off. Move your money to Noble Credit Union, where members – including students – have access to a full range of financial services, including no monthly fee checking and savings accounts, VISA debit cards, online and mobile banking, low rate MyRewards VISA credit cards, and budget management.
For more information about membership in Noble Credit Union, call (559) 252-5000 or visit NobleCU.com.