Money and marriage

marriageMost of the arguments in my home centre around the remote control, and whether or not I can stand yet another episode of Storage Wars. But, sadly, there are many a household that are plagued with stress and conflict in the marriage with money (and money mismanagement) at the source of the trouble.

It’s a well-known fact that money woes are one of the biggest contributors to martial unhappiness and divorce. It’s no wonder. It’s stressful.

Commit to Communicate

You’ve heard of the necessity of planning date nights to keep yourself connected to your spouse? The same principle must be applied to financial dealings.

Commit to a regular discussion on a regular basis (monthly, perhaps) where you review where you are at, how far you’ve come, and how far you have yet to go to reach your financial goals.

Express Goals

What is most important to you? Paying off debt? Maybe you’d like to buy a house or a new car? Maybe you’ve just started (or hope to soon) a new family?

List your top three goals. Have your partner do the same. Essentially make sure that you are literally on the same page. Your financial situation may dictate the immediacy of some goals (i.e. if you are overwhelmed with debt and/or if your spending is way out of whack with your income). It is important to clearly express where your other goals are too.

Keep your eye on the ball

Once you’ve mutually agreed about the direction that you want to be going, you need to work backwards to determine the steps you need to get there.

If the problem is spending, you need to account for every penny that is going out of both of your wallets. With your mutual goal for guidance, you need to determine where you both need to cut back.

Everyone has to sacrifice- and everyone has to commit to the short term pain for long term gain.

Don’t lay blame

It is completely counterproductive to blame your partner for your financial situation or to harbour resentment (although that is a very human reaction in a relationship fraught with money troubles).

It’s about determining solutions, and what role you each can play to get there.