Note: This is a guest post from Jane Sanders from Debt Management.
Many marriages have found they suffer from many negative elements, and a lot of these elements often come back to money problems. Money problems can be caused by a wide range of issues from not making enough to not managing it right.
However, money problems within marriages can be resolved and avoided by keeping a positive attitude, following some simple steps, and sometimes through the use of professional help.
Keep a Good Attitude
It is always important to be proactive about any methods and approaches that are implemented to resolve money and marriage differences or problems. Marriages that do not stay proactive tend to lose the money and marriage battle before it even begins.
Be Honest & Open and Set up a Budget
One of the most important things to do in the beginning of solving financial marriage problems is to sit down and create an honest and open communication airway between both parties. After it has been established that honesty and openness are being followed, it is crucial to create a budget. Most importantly, it is pertinent that a budget is created that both parties agree to, followed by actually sticking to the budget.
Couples who are enduring problems due to financial issues should never go outside of their budget and spend money unless an emergency occurs; this is why it is important to have a savings account set up.
In the event that something comes up and it is not an emergency, being honest with one another helps to avoid problems if one side of the marriage thinks a purchase is necessary. If both parties cannot agree in some form or fashion to the money being spent then the money should not be spent at all; this only helps to avoid disagreements.
Open Three Checking Accounts
Opening three checking accounts should include one joint account accompanied with two individual accounts.
[Note from Dustin: I've shared my thoughts on this issue and heard loudly from the community to the tune of over 100 comments on this post about bank accounts.]
This allows a marriage to have money set aside for required expenses, while at the same time each individual having their own money set aside for wanted or desired expenses. Opening separate checking accounts requires trust, but it is a wonderful way for couples to gain a sense of freedom when it comes to managing their own small bank account.
Most of the money within the marriage should be kept in the joint account. If either party objects to not opening individual accounts, then it should be avoided until both parties agree.
Always Ask for Help When it is Needed
Sometimes parties within a marriage get to their wits end and simply have no remedies to help their financial situation and differences. When this occurs, professional assistance should always be sought. There are a large number of financial counselors whose line of work is to help couples through their financial marriage problems.
What have been the keys to financial harmony within your marriage?