When you get married, you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone. You are also choosing to share everything with them, including finances.
However, although marriage can be a blissful time, it can also cause some issues if you are your spouse are disagreeing about finances, or are currently facing financial difficulty.
If your marriage is being affected by financial issues, read on. This article will discuss how financial difficulties can affect marriage, and how you can start managing money better as a couple.
How financial difficulties affect marriage
Arguments about money affect almost every marriage. If you have joint savings and spending accounts, sparks can flare up when one of you is spending more money than they should. Here are some of the biggest financial issues you might face in your marriage:
- Not having joint accounts: sometimes, when spouses can’t decide on various financial issues, they decide to split their finances down the middle and have separate accounts for their own earnings and savings. Although this sounds like a reasonable plan that will cause fewer arguments, this sort of arrangement can actually build up resentment. For example, you could find yourself getting angry if your spouse is making more money than you and you are struggling financially. It can also create issues if one of you loses a job.
- Debt: another financial issue that can put a huge amount of strain on a marriage is debt. Any debt that you build up while you are married (even if it is an individual debt) will be the responsibility of both spouses. If one spouse has racked up a lot of debt, it can put a huge amount of strain on the other.
- Differing personalities: some people are savers, and others are spenders. If you and your spouse do not talk openly about how you use your money, you could be in for a shock later down the line.
Finance and money-management tips for married couples
Although financial issues can indeed put a strain on marriages, there are some easy changes you and your spouse can make if you are struggling to agree on financial decisions.
- Be open and honest, always: you should never, ever, hide a single dollar of spending from your spouse. It is important that you tell each other your financial expectations before you get married, and both be happy with how you are going to handle the finances.
- Have joint accounts, but have your own pocket money: when it comes to marriage, you should share everything, and this includes money. This way, you will never have to argue about who pays for what and can both pay in to savings accounts at the same time. However, it is recommended that you both have some ‘pocket money’ each month that you can spend on whatever you like. If you go over the budget, you need to tell your spouse. Honesty is key.
- Budget and save together: try to create a budget of how much you can afford to spend and save each month. If you have never budgeted before, calculate both yours and your spouse’s earnings, and compare that to how much you spend per month. Once you have worked out how much you are spending, you can adjust this so that you can start saving money (which you can then use for things like a house deposit or for saving for children). If you are looking for easy ways to save money, seemingly small changes can make a big difference. For instance, practicing energy efficiency and utilizing smart appliances can save a significant amount of money on your Direct Energy bill, or you can save also save a large sum of money by limiting dining out and coffee shop visits. You might be surprised at the amount you can save from these small changes.
ConclusionFinancial disagreements are one of the leading causes of divorce. It is therefore important that you and your spouse are always open and honest about your finances, and understand how each other wants to deal with money.