They say that money is the root of all evil. I may not be able to put my moral stake in the ground when it comes to that statement, but what I do know is that it can ruin many relationships.
Pick any relationship survey where couples are asked what they fight about the most, and cha-ching! Money comes out on top. It may be about not having enough money to pay the bills or it most likely is about how each person in the relationship disagrees on how the household finances should be spent.
He’s annoyed that she’s bought more shoes and she is screaming at him for supersizing their television set. Something that causes so much conflict has to be evil right? Well, for those couples that create financial alignment, money does not have to become a source of discontent.
Here are some tips to help create financial alignment before you walk down that aisle:
- Communicate with each other your viewpoint about money. Should you save? What should it be saved for? Should bank accounts be merged or kept separate? Should each person have pocket money? Who will pay which bills? Get agreement first as this will serve as the ground rules for how you will govern the household finances.
- Create a budget and live by it. Be sure to regularly review the budget to see if anything needs to be changed.
- Ask before spending. This doesn’t mean treating each other like children by getting the other’s permission. If anything, this helps each other from potentially spending unwisely on big purchases.
- Decide on a strategy to maintain good credit. Is there a budget? This will help you spend within your means. It will also determine if there is money left over to buy things you each enjoy.
- While you may not always agree on what money should be spent on, make sure there is room in the budget for each spouse to make reasonable purchases that offer him or her individual pleasures. Agree to disagree and let each other indulge here and there on treasured “stuff,” whether it’s the latest fashion or football tickets or a spa treatment or a new pair of headphones.
- Discuss your goals and support of each other’s financial worth that each of you may bring to the marriage and what that will mean for other aspects of your life together. For example, if you are both working and building careers or businesses, is the other one supportive and not jealous of the amount of money being brought in?
- Remember to be each other’s cheerleaders, because the success and monetary gain from each person’s hard work is for both of you. Also remember that everything that happens in your relationship is seasonal. You might start off being the one with the golden egg, and the next stage of the marriage your spouse might be the one with it. Then, it might flip flop again.
Before you get married, try to come up with agreements about all of the above, so that you don’t let money come between the two of you.