There is saying that mentions how opposites attract, and the idea could not hold to be truer in regards to relationships. However, there are many things two people, especially a married couple, must agree on, and finances is often one of them. When newlyweds agree overall about money, there’s less of a chance their marriage will end in divorce. Kansas State University (KSU) conducted a research in 2012 and found that arguments, namely those regarding money was the prevalent predictor of marriages that ended in divorce.
Want to make sure your marriage doesn’t end up like so many already have? Here are four tips to keep your marriage and money intact.
Have a Money Conversation Tying the Knot
Before you down the aisle, you need to talk through any personal financial situations you might have first. It would be a shame to find out any serious money situations post-wedding. It’s better to come clean to your partner first if there’s any debts or other financial situations you’re in. Hopefully, there can also be a talk if there are any plans in place to help decrease the amount of debt.
What's Mine, What's Yours, and What's Ours
The percentage of couples that are deciding to hold off on getting married today is at its peak compared to any time in the last hundred years. A 2015 report conducted by the US Census Bureau showed that both men and women are getting married later in life. They’re also choosing to have separate incomes in place and have an independent view in regards to spending, investing, and saving their money. Implementing personal finances like this allows couples to give themselves more time to think through how they will manage their finances. Taking this route is often better over immediately co-mingling all assets into one. Instead, it may be a better idea to think about making a joint account solely for any stated and agreed expenses such as utilities, property taxes, and rent or mortgage. A separate and personal account should be kept for all other expenses.
Create a Plan
After a couple successfully settles on where they are in regards to money, they should attempt to shift their focus to their financial future. Examples of what to discuss include current lifestyle, having children and retirement goals. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have a good plan in place. The start of these plans often being with coming up with a household budget that is based on your income that can comfortably cover all expenses. The next part of the plan would be to make short-term goals such as paying off any student loans, credit card debt, or setting up an emergency fund account. The same steps should also be taken into consideration for any long-term goals as well such as deciding to open a savings accounts for retirement and paying for other expenses like childcare.
Money Can Buy You a Lot of Things, But It Can’t Buy Love
Some may feel money or other materialistic things can buy love for people, but it will not. It takes a lot to know you sincerely love a person and accept them for all that they are. Hanging out with your loved one for a few hours or days is one thing, but living with them is an entirely new subject. Once you marry someone you have to be willing to compromise, includes personal finance. Sitting together with your partner and talking it out first, or whenever you can, is a better idea than keeping it bottled in or leaving it as a surprise. Getting any money management differences out in the air allows couple the chance to create a better sense of appreciation and understanding of each other's approach to personal finance.
The sooner you can do this, the better. Once both of you can understand any differences early on, it’s easier to work with and find a plan. Couples who do this improve all odds and avoid personal or painful arguments concerning money later down the road. If there are any financial difficulties you are having with a partner, work on making a plan today and see where it can take you. Of course, change will not happen overnight, but if you’re both committed, then you’ll definitely see a bright future.
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