The number one reason couples fight? Money issues. Nothing can tear apart a happy relationship like money. Who controls it, who writes it down, who didn't write it down, whose spending is out of control. There seems to be no shortage of arguments when it comes to the green stuff. Here are some ways to avoid common pitfalls of finances in your relationship.
Don't rush to join finances - Some couples maintain separate bank accounts even after marriage. A joint account strictly for household bills cuts down on some of the pressure that one person might feel in the relationship to "ask permission". Many people feel that they shouldn't have to request permission from their significant other before they buy something whether it be a piece of gum or a new car. Maintaining separate accounts allows each person to maintain their independence financially while allowing the security of knowing the bills are paid.
Be aware of each others spending patterns - If your honey is a spender and you pinch pennies don't expect them to change simply because there are now two names on the account. If you know that you never met a pair of Jimmy Choo's you didn't like or that your husband can't walk out of Sharper Image without spending the mortgage payment then factor that into your budgeting every month. Burying your head in the sand when it comes to each others spending patterns is only asking for resentment and allegations later when suddenly there is no money left for groceries.
Plan for a rainy day-Whether you have two incomes or one, always pay yourselves first. Putting 10% of your check into savings will take a great deal of pressure off if the primary bread winner loses their job. It is recommended that you have a rainy day fund of 6 months to a year. It is easy to love each other when everything is going well but when the pressure is on and the loss of a job is a stressor it becomes very easy to start finger pointing.
Don't set each other up for failure-If you don't want to be in charge of the finances just because you want to be able to point fingers later when everything falls apart then you are setting your relationship up for failure. The responsible party should be in charge of the checkbook but everybody makes a mistake, misplaces a comma or a decimal point or maybe even accidentally neglects to note something in the register. Be forgiving and try to remember that you didn't marry them for their ability to balance a checkbook. Well, not only that ability one would hope.
Communicate about your Finances-It is amazing how many people have absolutely no idea what their net worth is or what they even have in the bank at that very moment. It is important to set up weekly or monthly times to just sit down and take account of where you are financially. What are your goals? How are you progressing towards them? Do you need to reevaluate or tweak something? This is the time to do it, when both of you are communicating.
Have a plan-Want to buy a house? Are you trying to have a baby? Planning for your son's college fund? Make a plan. Know what you need to have in order for this to come about. The most stress comes from when a situation falls from the sky with no warning. If you want to buy a house but have no idea what your credit score is, what type of house you can afford or how to save for your down payment, you will never progress towards your goal. Granted somethings such as pregnancies can spring up without any preparation but if you've been putting money away in a savings account there is a bit less of a shock when life's little surprises come your way.
Ask for help-If you know that neither of you is good with money then maybe you need to hire somebody to pay your bills, keep track of your finances or even create a budget for you. There are financial planners, life coaches and many other people out there who make their living helping people grow their money and reach their financial goals.
There is no way for a couple to never fight about money. Even if you are a lottery winner and rolling in cash there will always be something that annoys the other person in your relationship. However, the tips listed above can help ease the burden of financial stress as long as you plan ahead and remember that you love each other and want the same things in life.
Some people say money is the root of all evil; that may not be far from the truth when it comes to marriage problems. Money is a huge source of strain on many couples, from managing money to not making enough of it. If you and your spouse are dealing with a troubled marriage due to financial strain, don't be afraid to seek out marriage advice or professional marriage help.
Love and money sometimes results in money problems in a marriage. As a team, work together to lower your bills and balance your household budget.