While many people are often given advice on how to manage their sole finances, the game somewhat changes after marriage. This change is not bad, but simply a reality of life. Therefore, learning how to manage, protect, and grow funds with one's spouse can be invaluable. Every marriage is different and no two couples are exactly alike; nevertheless, the awareness and application of the forthcoming advice will certainly engender fruitful and properly managed finances.
Handle Money Both Separately and Together
When two people are married, the most common questions regarding money often pertain to bank accounts in one way or another. Chances are that both individuals maintained their own personal checkings and savings accounts prior to the marriage. After getting married, couples often wonder whether or not they should create a joint account or continue working with their current personal accounts. The correct and proper decision just so happens to be all of the above.
Marriage is a partnership. However, within said partnership, it is still important for both parties to feel as though they have an identity outside of one another.
affirms that married couples should have a joint, shared account and then their own personal accounts. More often than not, the joint account can be used for expenses which both individuals in the marriage will incur. Examples of the previously mentioned expenses include (but are not limited to) rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, etc. The personal accounts which both spouses had outside of their marriage can now be used for individual expenses, such as going to the movies, dining out, shopping, etc.
Ensure that Both Parties are on the Same Page
Arguments over money are some of the leading causes of divorce and failures within marriages. In many instances, this problem can be counteracted prior to its inception; this happens via communication and ensuring that both spouses are on the same page regarding financial matters. Discussing financial goals, investments, accounts, and potential forthcoming purchases is extremely important in a marriage. Both parties should be absolutely clear on where money is going, how much money is leaving accounts, and how much money is coming in.
Moreover, both spouses should be comfortable with money and the associated feelings. Different individuals have different perceptions regarding monetary capital. Therefore, seeking out the services of a financial advisor may be a good idea if spouses are unable to come to similar terms regarding money, its management, or other associated issues.
Steer Clear of Debt
Maintaining joint and separate accounts whilst being on the same page regarding finances is all well and good. However, the benefits of the foregoing advice can quickly be counteracted if spouses fail to steer clear of debt. As the ultimate foe of financial prosperity, debt can wreak serious havoc on bank accounts and marriages.
This is why both spouses have the obligation to live within their means and be honest with one another and themselves. Sometimes, putting aside money and then paying for something in cash is a lot wiser than charging it to credit and then being unable to foot the bill when it comes due.
Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal