There are plenty of benefits to being married, including relieving some financial burdens, but getting married can also open a can of worms around money!
How often do you and your spouse fight about money problems? Is it the biggest thing you fight about?
It’s probably not a surprise to you that it’s important to learn how to manage your money- but not many people think about how to include another person when it comes to money management.
When you’re newlyweds, it’s all very exciting and you’re looking forward to building a new life together, and all too easy to avoid the dreaded money talk.
But long term, you can’t shove your money issues away or hide them! You can’t save for your new house or add to your family without being financially responsible.
Talking about your money and how to handle money should not be a difficult conversation and we have some great tips to improve your money and marriage!
You can have a happy marriage where money is discussed openly- without the yelling and frustration- and use your hard earned income to work towards your joint goals.
Finances don’t have to be boring or all doom and gloom – they can be fun and something you look forward to working on!
So, what are the best ways to have a happy relationship with your money?
7 Money and Marriage Tips to Have a Better Relationship
Nobody likes to fight with their spouse, it can be so discouraging and strenuous for all involved.
Fighting about money is the worst since it can lead to so much resentment and stress, and a marriage can only survive so much negativity.
1) Review Your Bank Accounts Together
Where you keep your money is really important to how you manage your money together as a married couple and not just individuals.
But first things first- it’s just sitting under your mattress, we recommend switching to Chime to get the most out of your money and protect it for your future.
But the top question people have is how do married couples manage their money?
Well, there are so many ways that you can manage your money, but most couples wind up pooling their money together in some way to make it easier on one another.
We are a big fan of using joint accounts so that you both contribute to your partnership financially, plus it reminds you that you both have a say in financial decisions.
When you have money in the same place- especially for bills, home improvements, and the kids- it helps you have accountability for how much you each buy, plus how much you’ve spent on those things!
Don’t get me started on spending too much on a kids supplies- or getting Kelan started on too much home décor!
You can either put all of your money in the joint account to use for everybody, and have it be used for any expenses.
Or you can put a percentage of your money into the joint account for bills, and keep the rest of your income for your own wants and needs.
Joint accounts however do require some discipline and compromises, as you’re names are both on it at the bank. You have to make rules on spending so the money doesn’t dry up!
You need to remember to use the ‘right’ account if you’re buying for yourself and not for the household, and you have to agree on a spending limit when buying things for the house from the joint account.
Now your money is exactly that- yours. You don’t have to share every little detail of what you buy, but you do need to think about how your spending will affect each of you. So review your accounts and decide on your best option for banking.
2) Get Your Debts Out In The Open
We all have baggage of some form when we walk down the aisle- for some, it’s the crazy mom or wonky uncle, but for others it can be massive student loans or credit card debt.
Debt is one of the most difficult topics for people- it’s a shadow that haunts lives and puts a lot of financial strain on people.
It can be hard admitting your debts to your partner, and the instinct is to keep it to yourself- trust me, we’ve all had some credit cards that saw too much usage in the past and you want to keep it there!
Bottom line, though, you can’t go into a marriage and not divulge your debt troubles. White lies are not a way to instill love and trust in your spouse.
We don’t want dishonesty in a marriage, and debts can cause problems down the road for both of you. It’s better to talk about debt before something else brings it to light.
It’s good that the debts you accrue before a marriage aren’t extended to your spouse, but it can still affect your credit score and therefore can make some hard financial decisions even more difficult.
When the two of you look into buying a house or want a loan for a family vehicle, you may struggle because of your loan history- and if your spouse didn’t know before, well they sure do now.
Clear the air early- no one is perfect, and you can work together to plan you debt payments as a team.
3) Create a Realistic Budget You Both Agree On
There’s absolutely no point in working on a budget if it’s not one you and your spouse both agree on and can both work with.
The whole point of this tip is to end the arguements, not cause more! If you don’t agree on budget items, then it isn’t the right for you both as a couple.
The whole point of being a married couple is loving and supporting each other- and the point of working on your finances is to work as a team and be on the same page.
Qube Money is one of our favorite easy-to-use budgeting apps that helps couples learn how to budget and stick to a budget together.
You may have different roles within your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that you should be working on your goals individually.
You each have to put in input and ideas for the perfect budget, and even test some out first to know if it works. And if not, try try again!
There may need to be some compromise involved in your budget, but the most important thing is that you are fighting less and stressing less about money.
It doesn’t have to be a difficult thing that you do together – make it fun! Maybe go out for food and make it a date night.
Pull your bank statements and start to create a budget together. There’s no need to lay any blame or judgements on the other person’s spending here.
Go into this with an open mind and decide on what you want to spend your money on.
4) Talk About Your Ideal Lifestyle Together
We believe that talking about your ideals is critically important to having success with finances in your marriage.
The reason that this is so important is because you need to be working towards the same goal not working on conflicting individual goals.
Have you talked about your individual goals as well are your goals as a married couple?
If one of you wants something that’s completely different to the other person, this is where you will have some serious problems.
Similarly, if you feel as though you are working towards a goal on your own and your partner isn’t, this can cause some resentment when you feel left to carry the load alone.
Go out on a date night and make this topic of conversation a fun one- you’re goals are meant to bring you closer, not create more negativity!
It should be a fun topic to bring up – after all, it’s talking about your dream lifestyle! Your goals are your dreams, and your partner should know all about them!
We all like to dream, and when you start to realize that you are able to achieve it by working together, everything changes.
Maybe you want to move to a different state, maybe you want to buy a bigger or smaller house, maybe you want to work less, or change your career, maybe you want to spend more time with family.
There are so many maybes to discuss- there are so many possible futures for you as a family!
There are so many different things that you can look at at our Boot Camp!
If you need help getting started grab our Marriage & Money Boot Camp.
5) Understand Your Personality Differences
After reading this, you may be all fired up and raring to save some money, but remember that your partner may not have the same level of enthusiasm.
As in all matters, you need to be on the same page but that doesn’t mean you feel the same way about things.
One of you may prefer cash, and one of you may prefer a credit card. One of you may want to track every single expense, and the other one not at all.
One of you may love a spreadsheet and the other just wants some money to do whatever they please.
Your discussions should help you get on the same page, but how you work towards your goals can be very different.
It’s important to remember that your spouse may not see things in the same way that you do or have the same timetable as you.
It’s ok if you don’t always see eye to eye, and fights may happen, but it just means you both need to be empathetic and decide on the best way that works for each of you.
The best way to stop fighting is to be kind and make it about the both of you.
Never forget : Compromise is king!
6) Keep Your Purchases Out in the Open
We all know somebody who spends too much at Target (okay, maybe it’s me), but we all have our own vices that may hinder our financial journey.
You now know that you need to discuss your finances together, and you can’t forget to keep your partner in the know from here on out!
Finances aren’t a “open and done” topic- if you continue to spend money, you’ll continue to talk about it in order to be accountable to each other.
Now some married couples are happy to share everything- all the finances, all the stories and gossip form work, every little detail about their body functions… but that may not be for you.
You don’t need to tell each other every time you purchase something- I don’t need to know if Kelan grabbed an extra snack at the gas station or splurged on a nice steak for dinner, but I do need to know if he flew off the deep end and bought a whole new wardrobe, a car, or something big!
Some people don’t know how much they’ve spent until they see it on their card though. Have you been paying attention to your grocery bill totals?
A good budget helps you both be in the know and helps keep yourself in line- and there’s some helpful tools to make it a snap!
Mint makes this extremely easy and streamlined you don’t need to make any manual entries! Everything is done automatically, and you can have your joint account linked for every spenditure- and make an account for yourself if you want to be financially independent too.
7) Love & Empathy Always Wins
If you’re wondering, “can money ruin a marriage?”
Yes it absolutely can when you don’t talk about it and let bad feelings fester.
The most important thing to remember is that you are having these conversations to create a happy marriage and life.
A huge part of that is encompassing love and empathy to make these talks constructive and productive.
You aren’t talking about money to tear each other down or make each other feel bad. You want to make things easier on you both and lighten the loads you are carrying as a team!
You love each other, and want each other to do well in every single way. Not only that, but don’t forget that being fiscally responsible may not come naturally to your partner (or you!), so empathy is needed.
No matter what happens, you need to get through this as partners- you have the same goal and a shared future. Work through the tough stuff now so your future is brighter together.
Your Money and Marriage Work Together
Things may not have been going the way that you have wanted them to so far and married couples all hit roadblocks sooner or later.
And that’s ok – if you are both committed to making this marriage work no matter what – you’ll be fine.
Don’t dismiss how important managing your finances together is in terms of having a healthy, happy marriage.
The goal here is to handle finances with your partner in a stress-free way, and these tips will help you ease into the deep end of the personal finance pool.
It may be hard in the beginning because it’s new territory, but you just need to be committed to the process.
What are your best marriage and money tips?