Marriage opens up the doors to a new life. Sure, maybe money and finances aren’t the most romantic topics you want to bring to the dinner table. However, it shouldn’t be avoided. Let’s be honest. One of life’s biggest expenses is a wedding which bounds a couple together and lifelong commitments are made.
Couples who trust their spouses or partners with money matters typically feel more secure and financially content with gratitude. On the contrary, issues and arguments about money matters harms many relationships. In fact, most couples fight about finances twice as much as they quarrel about their sex life. Issues related to money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Almost 60% of divorces were finalized due to financial arguments between couples, hence, making financial arguments the primary indicator of divorces. In the long run, it’s better to plan ahead and put your heads together when it comes to money and finances.
1. Be Clear About Your Assets and Liabilities
Couples should opt for bookkeeping their assets and liabilities and controlling their expenditures as soon as they plan to marry each other. The beautiful journey of love and romance thereby puts you in a new financial life. Therefore, it’s obligatory to be aware of the upcoming financial dilemma in your life. The complications of possessions, properties and debts can brutally damage a relationship. So, be clear about all sources of income and earnings, spending habits, financial goals, and budgets with each other. Being honest about finances enhances a couple’s trust. Clarification of such finances also prevents a great deal of shame and fear in the future.
2. Share Your Family History
In many ways, your family background and upbringing demonstrates how you will handle your new financial life upon marriage. Therefore, couples should discuss their family history of finances beforehand; how they spend their allowances, the money etiquette they have learned from their parents, their budgeting priorities and spending habits. The more you know about each other and your preferences, the better understanding you will have regarding personal and financial matters that ultimately help strengthen the trust among one another.
3. Joint vs Separate Accounts
Some couples prefer having open, joint accounts and pooling all of their earnings into that account, while others prefer to keep their income discrete. However, it’s better if couples set up a joint account for shared expenses such as groceries, utilities, house rent or home mortgage payments, and children’s education. And, if you prefer, you can keep the extra money separate for your own expenditures or saving purposes. Again, the more open and honest you are, the more successful your relationship will be.
4. Be Flexible in Sharing Expenses
When it comes to sharing family expenses, a couple has to be flexible with their new financial life and onward. This is because one spouse may be earning much lower than the other and, by distributing equal expenses, you will be seen as equals in the relationship. Financial stress can spoil a relationship. It’s best if it’s a shared burden rather than one person struggling to get by.
5. Sensible Sharing of Expenses Via Joint Account
When one spouse has a habit of overspending money on frivolous purchases, it can cause conflict in your new life together. To ease such tension in a marriage, decide on a monthly figure that each partner can spend freely at their own discretion, without being questioned about the expenses. Simply agree to consult each other on significant transactions in order to avoid further stress. For such a case, $154 is an ideal amount that most couples agree upon to spend without informing one another. Anything over that amount should be discussed before purchasing.
6. Take An Early Look At Each Other’s Taxes
When a couple has similar earnings, one might owe more tax in comparison to the other at the start of their marriage. The opposite can happen when one earns much lower than the other. Therefore, sort out tax issues and update your W-2 withholding forms as soon as possible.
7. Pay Off Debt Together
Although your new financial life comes with more responsibility, one cannot automatically owe their spouse’s debt right from the start of their marriage. Even then, what he or she owes will still affect your family budget and life choices. Therefore, aim to tackle such debt together simply as a team and make reducing debt your first priority. In the case that there are multiple loans, begin with the obligation carrying the highest interest rate first in order to reduce the overall interest you both pay.
8. Team Up To Save
It is much less expensive to maintain household finances as a couple rather than living separately. Paying less on rent or mortgage is just one of many smart ways a couple can opt for saving more. Car insurers, home mortgage companies, and facilities like gyms and clubs usually offer better deals at reasonable costs when you sign up together. In addition, there is no need to have multiple Amazon or Netflix accounts when you have already started your new financial life, the first chapter of your marriage.
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