When you said ‘I do,’ a big part of that commitment had to do with your finances. Whether you had the ‘money talk’ before you got married, or you are finding out the hard way that you are not on the same page financially, there are ways to get your marriage and finances back on track.
It all starts with determining if you are financially compatible.
Determining your Financial Compatibility
Every couple is different, but we see three common scenarios with couples and their finances.
The One Person Has Control Marriage
In some marriages, one person takes complete control over the finances. They pay the bills, balance the checkbook, and handle investments. The other partner generally does not know much about the money and, if asked, would not know where the checkbook is or how much money they have.
While this might seem ideal, especially if you do not like dealing with finances, both partners should understand their financial situation and have a say in how the money is handled.
The Couple with Opposite Habits
Do you and your spouse have different views about money? For example, maybe you are a spender, and he is a saver or vice versa. The key is that you are not on the same page, and your differing habits are bound to cause struggles.
Some couples with differing habits have separate accounts. For example, they don’t keep their money together, and instead, they split the bills, so each partner is responsible for some of the household bills, allowing them to handle their money the way they want.
The Couple that Ignores their Issues
Some couples are on the same page; they know they have financial struggles but won’t verbalize it or change their habits.
These couples continue with their spending habits and living life however they want, without considering how it might affect their financial future. People with these habits often have deep-seated thoughts about money that comes from their family, and the habits are hard to break.
Getting on the Same Financial Page
So how do you get on the same financial page with your partner? If you are on the same page, and it’s not a good one, what do you do?
The key is communication.
You must talk to one another about money. Open up about your habits, worries, and your financial goals. Compare notes and see where you stand. If you don’t see eye-to-eye, try to find a middle ground to meet somewhere in the middle and achieve financial harmony.
This may seem overwhelming at first, but go slow. Set up ‘money dates’ monthly and only talk about money. This way, you both come to the date knowing what to anticipate and can give one another undivided attention.
If you and your partner cannot get on the same page, or if you can but cannot fix your finances, consider credit counselling. With a free consultation, you can see what steps you can take to improve your financial situation and get on the same page to reach your financial goals.