In marriage, money talks

couple money issuesAs any couple will tell you, the key to harmony is good, open communication (and a sense of humour). This holds particularly true when it comes to money management.

Whether you are walking down the aisle during this wedding season, or if you’ve been married for many years, there is no time like the present to set the basis for harmonious finances (and wedded bliss).

Money stress= marriage stress

It is a well-known fact that debt and money troubles are one of the greatest causes of divorce. It’s no wonder!

You’ve got the perfect storm for all sorts of negative energy and emotions, which of course are going to cause conflict. If you’re not on the same page, you’ve got the potential for miscommunication, feelings of resentment and financial betrayal.

Avoid this minefield with a plan and a commitment to communicate.

Plan to plan

You may share common hobbies and interests with your spouse, but do you share common financial goals? It may seem obvious, but the only way you are going to know exactly what each other’s goals are is to share them.

What are your priorities? A house? Fancy cars? Travelling? Lots of savings? Lay everything out on the table. If there is a gap in your goals, now is the time to find common ground- and fast.

Financially compatible?

Are you a shopper and he’s a spender, or vice versa? Does he refuse to brown bag it while you home brew your coffee and skip the drive-thru every morning?

Take some time to recognize similarities and differences in your attitude towards money. Much of your money attitude may have been shaped since birth, so may take some time and attention to reshape in the context of your marital relationship, but it is worth doing.

Don’t play the blame game

You’re going to squabble about money. Guaranteed. Don’t let these disagreements fester into an insurmountable problem. If you fall off the financial rails, don’t lay blame. Focus on your goal, and retool strategies to help you get there.