When Nathan and I were engaged and went to premarital counseling, we realized we had very different ways of handling money. Throughout our marriage we’ve had lean years and we’ve had bountiful years, but we had money fights during both. While we still disagree sometimes on money, through FPU we learned how to communicate about money and have a common ground we both come from in regards to money.
Here are my 5 tips to Money and a Happy Marriage:
#1: Keep a Joint Bank Account. Marriage is a partnership, separating the money and splitting the bills will only lead to more money (and relationship) fights in the future. Put all your money together once you’re married and look at it as a whole.
#2: Discuss your lifestyle choices together. Marriage is all about compromise. I am a big believer in buying used and Nathan loves to buy new. We’ve both had to learn that there are times for both.
#3: Recognize your difference in personality. Opposites attract, most likely one of you likes to spend and the other likes to save. Nathan and I both like to do a little of both, spend on ourselves and save the other’s money! Creating a budget we both agree with before the spending begins helps us with this. Communication is key.
#4: Don’t let salary differences come between you. Most couples have one who makes more than the other, but remember you’re a team. In our marriage, I haven’t worked full time since having our oldest son. Nathan often reminds me that I hold the household together with meals and driving kids and organizing our lives, which allows him to go to work and not worry about the household.
#5: Keep purchases out in the open. Stay faithful to your shared financial goals. Side accounts or credit cards your spouse doesn’t know about can cause big issues in your marriage. Decide on the amount which can’t be spent by either of you without a discussion first. This opens up communication and helps keep you each accountable to your budget.