Time after time we have heard stories about conversations couples need to have regarding money when it comes to marriage. Or the story where she makes more. Have you ever wondered how a couple wins at Money and Marriage? Hold on to your coffee cup, I'm going to share this with you.
Let me preface the seven ways by sharing this. I've been married for 19 years and we've dealt with it all debt, bankruptcy, rebuilding, becoming parents and even been audited by the IRS!! Remember this, it all comes to how you handle it. Your attitude sets the tone.
1) Be an adult and each one accepts responsibility. You are in this together. It doesn't matter who manages the money, financial decisions affect a household. This is not the time for anyone to storm out or say it is my way or the highway. You will find out what you are made of in tough times.
2) Decide together what you want your financial household to look like. This means decide who is paying the bills, what a savings account will look like, what an emergency fund will look like and what are the concerns for retirement. You must plan ahead.
3) Discuss how you would handle an unexpected MAJOR bill. How would this be paid if it is outside of the scope of insurance? Health insurance doesn't pay for anything 100%. Have an idea in mind now so when it happens, you already know what you will do.
4) Set a healthy boundary regarding when a husband or wife needs to talk regarding a major purchase. What is the amount that can be spent without talking to the other? All couples need to have some freedom when it comes to finances. Caveat: Not so much that you create a problem. This is when constant communication comes in to play.
5) Keep outsiders out of your financial household. We've all heard every one has an opinion. Usually when Spouse A is talking to someone outside of the marriage, Person B is only hearing one side of the story. Or when Husband is sharing a situation, same thing occurs. It is one sided and not fair. Therefore, have the conversation with the person who can change the situation – The Husband or The Wife!
6) Always!! Always be SOLUTION oriented. When presented with a problem, don't get emotional – step back and say what are the pros and cons of handling it a certain way. Recognize there is always a consequence to every decision. Do what is best for your family.
7) Talk, talk and talk some more. I'm not talking about fluff conversations. Dig in and talk about the topics that may hurt. You only have to start this conversation once and see who you are truly married to. Are you married to a victor, prize fighter or are you married to a victim, who bury's their head in the sand and let's the chips fall where they may.
You are married for a lifetime. You may as well handle your money IN marriage in a manner that enhances your marriage because money is often used daily.
Dr. Taffy is a much sought after dynamic speaker regarding personal finances, home ownership, women’s issues, business issues and more. Dr. Taffy is the best-selling author of Debt Dilemma and Homebuyer’s Helper. She has also written Discharged into Debt which is a book for military personnel and their family on personal finances. Dr. Taffy holds many degrees and wears numerous hats including homeschool parent and entrepreneur. She and her husband Eric are the publishers of Money and Marriage 365. They reside in Colorado with their twins, Erica and Cody.