When a couple is having financial difficulties, it can add a lot of strain to the relationship. The bones of contention will often be things like not making enough money, one or the other partner spending too freely, and disagreements over what to save for in the future.
The key for a couple getting along on the subject of money is to communicate about the subject (ideally when everyone is calm), and reach agreements on how money should be handled. Then both partners need to stick to the agreements. Some important topics to cover would be:Work out the income goals of the family, with both partners working to come up with a plan to reach those goals. That way it is not one or the other’s fault if the income is not high enough. Work together on this and create a longer term strategy to reach the goals.
Come up with family policies on spending and budgeting, which is the best way to reduce excess spending. One tip is to curb unrestricted use of credit card.
Work out agreements on how to handle saving for retirement. Many people put this off until later in life, which makes it harder to ensure a comfortable retirement. And Social Security will only provide a small percentage of your income during your working years. So it makes sense to start this early in life.
If you have children, decide as far ahead of time as you can how you’re going to provide for their college educations. Don’t let this one catch up to you too late.
Make sure you both fully understand all the ramifications of major actions like buying a house or investing in income properties.
Work out a plan for life insurance.
If a couple reaches firm agreements on how to handle these matters, it will help them improve the quality of their marriage, as well as improve their financial scene.
This article was written by Stan Dubin. Additional information can be found at the blog: Marriage Success and in the book: When the Thrill Is Gone. You may republish this article in your newsletter or at your web site or blog providing the entire article is kept intact, including the contact links.