Research shows that money issues are often cited as one of the top reasons of marital conflict
One can be a spender and the other one, a saver. Differences over money management and spending patterns can make finance as one of the most challenging and probably intense topics for couples to discuss.
To handle marriage and money together, couples must understand each other's opinions about finances. They should communicate regularly on how money is going to be spent.
Couples must also remember that they are partners on the same team, so to resolve financial problems they must agree to work cooperatively and honor each other's ideas on how to move forward together.
It is a process of discovery, both individually and collectively, that allows them to live in harmony and happiness.
The Cathford Group recommends the following tips for a successful money management on married couples.
Write down goals
Problems arise between couples when they don't talk to each other about individual or common goals and plans to achieve them. The Cathford Group suggests that couples must work together to prioritize financial goals and then identify the necessary steps to get there.
They can agree on goals that included staying to a budget each month and review them regularly.
Couples should also thoroughly discuss their long-term financial goals with each other, like having a retirement plan.
Design a budget
In order to achieve the shared financial goals of married couples, they must create a mutually-agreeable budget and they need to ensure that they are within that budget each month.
Couples have to really understand the difference between 'needs' and 'wants'. They should prioritize their basic needs such as food, water, clothing and shelter, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare; they should limit themselves on how much they're allowed to spend every month to avoid debt.
Budgeting requires discipline and it can be a work in progress for couples. It may involve making adjustments and even some sacrifices especially over the first few months. However, they don't need to worry because this scenario is normal on newly married couples.
Deal with debt together
Debt can be damaging to anyone, but it is a large threat to married couples because they are both responsible for paying the money back.
If one partner goes into the relationship with debt, spouses must talk about it together and figure out what are the best ways to pay for it.
Couples must agree to talk often about finances and discuss any debt together to avoid further problems down the road.
Don't forget to save
Couples should consider the pros of creating a joint saving account if they are looking to develop a strong financial future with each other. Unpredictable circumstances might happen and costs are sometimes difficult to predict, so having a reserve fund is always a smart move for married couples.
They must plan together on how to save money as part of their financial management goal. Starting to save early will benefit the couples in the future.