I’ve been married to my loving husband for more than 13 years. I believe that one of the cornerstones to every happy marriage, including ours, is that we have a financially harmonious marriage.
For more than a decade we have learned how to resolve our financial conflicts by avoiding what I refer to as the “common money pitfalls” of marriage.
In the spirit of a new financial year, I’d like to share with you some of these pitfalls, along with ideas on how to avoid them, or understand them so that you can turn some of those nasty arguments over money into healthy discussions about your finances.
Common pitfall # 1 “His” and “Hers”
Have you heard any of your friends say, “I work for the money and they spend the money”? Another common sentence I hear is the, “I pay the mortgage and they pay for the groceries.”
First step of being married is dispelling the “his” and “hers” mindset – it is “ours”.
Whenever Steven and I have conflicts over money or anything in general, we always remember one thing: we are one team.
Common pitfall # 2 the idea of “My Money” and “Your Money”
When our twins were born, Steven was the only one working for a few months but even so, we treated each other as equal contributors to our home. Sometimes it’s easy to think, “I’ve worked hard for my pay cheque, I should be able to spend it any way I want,” but that kind of thinking is damaging to your relationship.
Just because your partner’s contribution happens to be in dollars, does not give it greater value than the love, devotion and hard work you give your family.
Common pitfall # 3 “The Budget Tyrant”
“Honey, I’ve looked over our budget and I think you are spending too much money on food, so I’ve prepared a plan that will keep you from overspending so that I can reach my financial goals at the end of year.” Does this sound like any one you know?
It’s common in marriages that one partner dictates how money should be managed in the household.
While this may seem logical, it’s a ticking bomb. Just as both of you contribute to the value that goes into the home, both of you contribute to the value that comes out of the home. As partners, both of you have to participate in the development of the household budget.
Successful marriages are no easy feat but with the right mindset, attitude, love and devotion there’s no reason why you can’t live a blissful married life.
Remember you and your partner are one team.