There are so many marriages that end over finances, which is kind of ironic if you really think about it. Divorce usually leads to even more financial disarray — does that mean love and money aren't meant to co-exist? I'm not exactly sure why money becomes such a strain for some couples, but I have a feeling it's because many don't talk about money matters before they're married and then keep things bottled up after they've said I do.
Personal finance guru Jean Chatzky encourages honest communication, admitting your imperfections, and setting "money dates" that only last for a limited amount of time. Chatzky says. "I'm a big fan of airing the laundry. Fortunately, like we've gotten better at talking about sex, we've gotten better at talking about money." To see what other tips she has for couples just read more.
To keep your marriage in tip-top shape, Chatzky recommends following these steps.
- Plan. If you share assets, as many couples do, budget together so as to minimize surprises.
- Prioritize. Make sure you have shared goals for spending and saving.
- Put it in writing. Whether it's the family budget or a loan between relatives, it's a good idea to lay out the ground rules, such as recording every purchase or outlining a schedule for repayment.
- Talk about it. Disputes often arise when one person nurses a grudge about money, so don't keep your feelings bottled up. When you do talk, keep comments neutral; starting off by criticizing your partner is sure to lead to an argument.
Do you have any secrets to keeping your coupled finances running smoothly? Share in the comments below!