Most marriages and relationships have their financial ups and downs. Dealing with the downs can really test a relationship some days.
I know when my hubby and I started seriously dating, we sat down and talked about money and our management styles. At first, we didn’t line up. Some days we even argued about it. But in due time, we heard each other out and came up with a plan that worked for both of us. We knew that being in sync financially was key to a successful marriage so we worked hard to figure out a system that we could both use. Since then, we have revisited the topic numerous times to make sure we are both doing ok and happy with our current financial status. As we need to, we make adjustments.
Today I wanted to share with you six tips that we used to help us get into the groove of marital money bliss in the hope that you can do the same.
- Be equals. In a marriage, it is important for each partner to feel equal on all levels. When one tries to dominate the other, communication doesn’t flow openly and conflict arises. Instead, treat each other with respect and as equal partners.
- Find the right time. Pick a non stress time to sit down and have a discussion about money. For us, a weeknight evening works well, after we have had dinner and finish our chores, and have some free time. Don’t try to sit down and talk about money when you are in the middle of an activity and unable to focus your attention.
- Be prepared. Have each of you make a list about the money topics you want to discuss ahead of time. That way when you go to sit down and talk about it, you can stay on track with the issues at hand and discuss each partner’s concerns.
- Park your emotions. Never attack your spouse. Don’t get into playing the blame game. State how you feel but don’t be argumentative. Say ‘I’ instead of ‘you’. If you are having a bit of stressful day and feel more emotionally charged, then don’t plan to have your money talk that same night. Schedule it for a day when you can be calm and collected.
- Take turns. Allow each person to share their viewpoint without interruption. This will help nurture that respect for one another and put you both closer to reaching your goals.
- Come up with a plan. Discuss your current situation and future plans. Make sure you have a basic budget in place and discuss the vital steps you both need to take for your financial future. Make a money to do list and check your progress regularly. We discuss our finances every two weeks.
- Remember you love each other. Remember that you care about the other person and want to do your part to make them happy and look after them. This will help you both come up with a compromise and plan that will work.
The bottom line is that if you want to have and sustain marital money bliss, you have to treat each other with respect and love, and communicate regularly. Without this, you will never be able to come up with a financial plan that is going to work.
So, how do you balance finances in your relationship? How have you solved conflicts about money?
We break rule #1 by not being equals when it comes to money-management (and other issues). You take care of this, I’ll take care of that.
Such an approach isn’t without its frustrations, but if your spouse has no interest in the household finances, it may be best to keep them out of the loop.
@ Jaymus It’s true. There are some people that have no interest in the family finances and one is left to manage it by themselves. While I can understand this, I do think it important to work together financially so both parties are kept in the loop. Sometimes it can be a rude awakening for a spouse if later in life if the person who looked after the finances is no longer around and they are now forced to manage things.