The Importance of Honest Financial Conversations Between Spouses
When it comes to marriage and finances, it’s no secret that money can be a tricky subject to deal with. It can put a huge damper on your relationship and cause unnecessary strain and stress if couples are not honest and upfront with their expectations. According to a survey conducted in 2017 by Ramsey Solutions out of 1000 people, almost nearly two thirds of all marriages are starting out in debt. This can have negative impacts because marriages need a solid foundation from the beginning to be successful. It’s important to have an honest and upfront approach to addressing finances in marriage. There are ways to navigate this if you are willing to be candid with your significant other.
Address Debt First
Whether you have been dating for 6 months or 5 years before getting married, debt is necessary to address. Many financial experts believe that full disclosure of your financial position with your significant other prior to wedding is a must, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. You both deserve to know where the other stands so you can make decisions with clarity and fairness. Even if you are already married, it’s still a great idea to be open about looming debt. You will feel so much better after you get it of your chest and your partner can help you tackle the debt as well.
It is important to create a comprehensive budget that addresses both your partner’s needs and household needs that affect both of you. This is also a great opportunity to understand your significant other’s personal feelings towards money and their relationship with finances. In a lot of relationships, one person is more budget-conscious than the other and that is okay if you set boundaries and limits upfront. You must create your goals together to stay on one accord. Having aligned goals ensures that each person’s needs are met and one person doesn’t feel singled out. This might mean having a joint account for household finances such as mortgage payments and keep personal accounts for extracurricular expenses.
Don’t Hide Financial Secrets
Committing financial infidelity is a killer in marriages. Not only is it unfair to your partner, but it can strain the relationship and lead to trust issues. Even if you aren’t sharing bank accounts, you should consult with your partner before making large purchases. In a worst case scenario, you may not be able to finance the purchase long term and might need your partners help in paying for it later. If you come to them later, after the purchase is made they may be unwilling to help because they didn’t know about it.
Not talking about your finances honestly can cripple your marriage. It’s one of the few things you can control in marriage so you should sit with your partner and address it openly. You may hit a rough patch in your finances, and the last thing you want to do is have your partner be an afterthought when addressing it. Talk to one of our financial advisors to understand how we can help you create a successful plan to discuss your financial situation with your partner.