It is a well-known fact that money is a bone of contention in many relationships and marriages worldwide. Indeed, recent research from TD Bank reveals that a third of married couples fight over money at least once a month. There are numerous reasons why a couple may disagree about money, from different viewpoints to varying communication styles. It is typically challenging to navigate the sensitive topic of money management with your spouse, but you can make things easier by adhering to three key principles. Here are three rules that should govern money management in your marriage.
Many financial experts suggest that you and your spouse have equal say and power in financial decisions for the best results. Financial imbalances are a key factor for disagreements over money in relationships. For instance, the partner who makes more money may think they should automatically have more say in financial decisions. Similarly, the more anxious or frugal partner may feel they deserve more say when managing the family’s finances. However, failing to equalize this imbalance can create a power struggle that may lead to resentment, inadequacy, feelings of dependence, and an ultimately strained marriage. Therefore, everyone should have equal say and power regarding financial matters.
Some couples combine their finances, while others are fine with keeping their cash separate. Both options are great ways to manage money in a marriage, as long as you and your spouse agree. Although keeping and handling your finances separately is fine, stashing away cash that your spouse is unaware of is another issue entirely. It will be understandable if you start searching for 9 questions to ask before choosing a divorce lawyer after discovering your partner is hiding money from you.
This act is a kind of financial infidelity, and a CreditCards.com survey revealed that one-fourth of couples consider it even worse than physical infidelity. Therefore, ensure that transparency is at the heart of all money management with your spouse. For starters, you can disclose how you both intend to manage your finances, so all cards are on the table from the very beginning. Another great way to ensure transparency is for both parties to offer access to information as a safety measure. This way, everyone can monitor what financial decisions are being made to prevent secrecy.
It is also prudent to ensure that whatever financial plan you and your partner generate is something you can stick to for the long term. For example, let’s assume you and your spouse have some debts and intend to pay them off quickly. If your spouse has a stronger desire to get rid of the debts quickly, they may suggest a plan to contribute pretty much every resource toward becoming debt-free. Although this makes sense, you may also feel like this plan is too aggressive and may take the joy out of your lives. A plan like this is not sustainable because it causes resentment and pushes partners to act out and do things in secret. As such, be ready to compromise to agree on a sustainable plan that works for everyone.