Love and marriage… and money. Here are some common financial mistakes that can turn your “happily ever after” into a break up.
According to a study from Kansas State University, arguments about money are the main predictor of whether a marriage will end up in divorce or not. Of course, there are no guarantees, but your chances at being in a long and happy marriage are greater if you avoid these common financial mistakes:
1- Not joining finances
Even if you want to keep separate accounts for personal spending, you still should open a joint account for combined expenses. Having a single budget ensures you will both know how much things cost and how much money you both need to chip in in order to pay the bills. Put that money into the joint account as soon as you both get your paychecks and you will definitely feel less stressed about it.
2- Not having spending rules
Managing money as a couple is all about the rules. Having one budget in common makes things easier, but even if you keep separate accounts, you should set some ground rules. To determine if you and your spouse are on the same page, answer these questions:
- How much money can one spouse spend without conferring with the other spouse?
- What things should be discussed before one spouse opens a credit card account or takes out a loan?
- If you have kids: do they get an allowance? If yes, how much?
- How will money discussions take place? Will they be scheduled or as they come up?
- What will you do if you get any bonus? And what if there are any unexpected windfalls?
If you both answer those questions, you will have your set of rules for managing your money as a couple without much trouble.
3- Letting emotions get in the way
Money talks can be a sensitive topic and a very common mistake (with awful consequences) is using it as a weapon against your spouse.
Even if your spouse spends money on something they shouldn’t have, retaliating with your own shopping spree is not only not going to solve any problem, but it will actually create more.
Another important thing is to never shame your spouse over money spent. This will only cause resentment and breed mistrust, which is a direct path to a downfall in your marriage.