6 Money Tips For a Healthy MarriageWords by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Bank on Yourself
Planning your wedding is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life – and it should be! But, it’s also important to take time leading up to your wedding to have some tough conversations about the practical aspects of combining two lives into one. It’s commonly understood that finances can be one of the top potential problems when it comes to relationships, so why not get ahead of things with an honest and mature conversation?
In fact, a new report finds that 31% of Americans consider financial infidelity to be worse than cheating romantically, yet an estimated 15 million admit to concealing a bank account or credit card from their partners. Two-time New York Times bestselling author and financial security expert Pamela Yellen is sharing her tips to avoid money problems within your marriage. She has dedicated years to researching, studying and conducting surveys on how money affects relationships. These tips are meant to get ahead of any potential issues, as well is help increase intimacy around money and finances.
6 Ways to Keep Money from Wrecking Your Marriage
1. Recognize that money is an emotional issue.
Choose a time when you're both relaxed and not rushed. Begin the conversation with something like, "I know that our finances can have a great impact on the health of our relationship. I'd like to start talking about money so that we understand each other and can get on the same page."
2. Talk, talk, and talk some more about your finances together.
Set goals together and track your progress using steps 3-6.
3. Agree on how to divide your money.
The time to have this heart-to-heart conversation is now, rather than in a divorce attorney’s office later. Common topics to cover include individual discretionary spending, household expenses, retirement savings and extended family responsibilities.
4. Avoid taking on too much debt.a
Instead of constantly talking about the burden of your debt, talk to each other about your financial goals – where you’d really like to be and how you’ll get there. Rather than letting debt issues drive you apart, facing your debt as a team can actually strengthen your relationship.
5. No matter how tempting it may be, do not engage in financial infidelity!
If you haven’t been fully honest regarding finances, now is the time to clean it up. Begin the conversation with something like, “I know that neither of us is perfect when it comes to money. Our relationship is important to me, so I want to make sure we have a foundation of honesty about our finances.” No matter what comes up, stay calm and avoid judgment. Keep breathing and focus on positive solutions going forward.
6. Understand and acknowledge your different spending habits.
Seek to understand rather than correct each other. If something in your partner's attitude bothers you, tell him/her how you feel and why. See if you can find compromise, but don’t try to ‘fix’ your partner. To keep your relationships healthy, it’s critical to discuss these differences and come up with compromises that work for both of you.
For more information about getting your finances in shape or about Pamela Yellen, visit bankonyourself.com. Pamela also encourages couples to take her Love and Money Quiz to help spark further discussion.
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