Solutions To Money Mistakes Couples Make

In my previous post, I talked about 5 money mistakes couples make, and I promised you I would provide some solutions.

Knowing Your Mistakes Is One Thing. Knowing How To Fix Or Avoid Them Is Another

Here are some keys to solving those problems so you can create more harmony in the home at bill paying time.

1. Talk about financial goals and plans. Understand each other’s dreams and goals, preferably before you tie the knot. It can be pretty life altering if you find out your spouse never planned on working full time, or has a dream of starting up their own business, having a large family, or returning to school. 

Marrying the right person plays a major role in your happiness for the rest of your life.  Some say this determines 90% of your happiness or misery. 

Singles have the advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it)  of having no one else to consider in their financial decisions.  Couples should know where each other stands regarding borrowing, saving, financial goals and career goals (as well as raising children and religion). “No Surprises” is a good motto for communicating about life goals.

Being aware of each other’s life goals and planning how to support them contributes to a more loving partnership.  Knowing your partner supports you for the long haul also helps ease the disappointment if these goals have to be postponed due to unexpected life events.

2.  Practicing good money management can go a long way toward avoiding money disputes that can poison relationships. 

When you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to forget to record checks.  Automatic teller machines are so convenient, but can be a record keeping nightmare if you don’t keep up with your receipt and record your withdrawals.  This makes for great surprises when you try to reconcile your account or get rejected for a purchase due to lack of funds. 

Reconcile your bank account at least monthly, more often if you have a lot of transactions.
If you pay bills with checks, you might try using carbon checks, so you have an accurate record. Set up a convenient box, or file folder, to drop receipts in each day.
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3. Set up your finances so each person has their own discretionary spending money, to use however they desire. When it comes to hobbies and interests, respect the fact that while you think your partners spending is frivolous, they may think the same about yours.  Yes, it is important to have 10 different fishing lures, or 15  crochet needles. 

Having personal money to control and spend without having to discuss, or get approval goes a long way toward reducing money fights.  

4. Take time to have the all-important discussion about how you can combine and manage your joint income and expenses. 

  • Be completely honest about all income and debts.
  • Establish spending and saving rules.  You owe it to each other to be responsible with you finances.
  • Admit on mistakes of the past and don’t dwell on them. Focus on the future.

You are a fantastic team, regardless who has the bigger salary or the least debt.

5. Know what your joint incomes and expenses are and establish a system for paying bills. Then decide who will be the one to process the bills.   Typically one spouse is better with numbers, or likes systems and organization.  One may be more financially conservative or knowledgeable, or just likes to have bills paid on time.  It may come down to who has the time. 

Consider Working With A Financial or Life Coach

While money miss-management can create stress in your long-term romantic relationship, it doesn’t have to. It’s clear… maintaining open, honest dialog about money, and life goals in general, will go a long way toward creating a happy marriage.

If you are at a point where you find it too
difficult to have the all-important money discussions, consider working with a Life Coach, who can guide you in creating
your money management plan, and help you create a balanced goals program. 
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Above all, always put your relationship ahead of money, and remember, some of the things that irritate you about your spouse are the very same things that attracted you to them in the first place.

Of the many investments you will make in your life, your marriage ranks at the top. The quality of your marriage affects every area of your life. Creating joint financial goals early in a marriage is a key to success, prosperity, and “until death do us part.”

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