Finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a survey by SunTrust Bank, some 35 percent of all respondents experiencing relationship stress said money was the primary cause of friction. My husband and I talk about money all the time – specifically how quickly we can pay off our mortgage. But unfortunately, not all couples enjoy having these discussions like we do about budgeting, spending and debt. Let’s look at three easy steps you can take now to build a financially strong marriage.
- Practice open and honest communication: Trust you partner with all things financial and honestly tell them how much you make and how much debt you have. Ideally, this should be a conversation that happens before you say I do, but if you haven’t already, start now. Open communication is key to maintaining a financially strong marriage by making sure your partner knows both the good and the bad. Show them your student loan and credit card debt paperwork as well as your savings account and investment balances.
- Create short and long-term financial goals together: Getting on the same page financially is especially important to create shared goals and milestones. Do you have the same financial mindset and goals? Is one of you a saver and the other a spender? Share the budgeting and bill paying duties equally so you’re both in the loop about how much comes in and how much goes out.
- Begin banking jointly while also keeping separate accounts: Experts recommend having a joint account that both of your paychecks get deposited into and the household bills get paid out of as well as separate accounts for personal money to spend however you like. It’s important to maintain joint expenses together but still have the freedom to spend on gifts and necessities out of personal accounts without having to always explain everything to your partner.
How do you and your partner handle the finances? Let me know in the comments below.