Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Fern Alix-LaRocca who gives five great tips for achieving financial harmony in marriage.
Some couples will immediately combine their finances in a marriage and some will keep their money separate. It doesn’t matter how you divvy it up. What does matter is what you decide to do with it- together.
Many couples are squeamish around discussing money because maybe they are ashamed of the debt they accrued or maybe they feel bad about not knowing how to manage it properly. You can engage your finances together with these 5 tips:
1. Let your goals be your guide– not the economy or newspaper journalists. When you have the end result in mind, it’s a lot easier to save together to fund that goal. Figure out if you want to own a house, take off of work to be with a new baby, prepare to be self- employed, etc. Then use some of the free online calculators to figure out how much you need to save and invest to meet your goal.
2. Your money must earn money for you to get ahead. Don’t get stuck in the rat race of making money and spending it. A part of every dollar that you earn should be saved and invested to make more money for you. Why? Because taxes and inflation will eat away at anything you earn, but if you have an additional way of making money (like investing) then you can get ahead over time.
3. Promote mutual understanding of each other by discussing how you were raised around money and what your money personality is. It is important that your spouse understands where you are coming from, so they can be more understanding and compassionate about how you make financial decisions.
4. Make saving and investing for the future fun. My husband and I have a financial meeting once a quarter before we go out to dinner on Friday night. We talk about what went right and what went wrong and how we can improve. Through our discussions, we educate each other and review options and opportunities that we can take advantage of to grow our money.
5. No matter how different you are in your money personalities you can still find common ground and come together to realize those goals and aspirations that you both want and deserve. Get out the pen and paper and start now after dinner with a discussion about what you really want.
Remember that you can’t reach a target if you don’t know what it is. Let failure be an option. You aren’t always going to get it right, but keep forging ahead. It is a learning and growing experience to be enjoyed together.
Knowing the basics of money will help you attract it, keep it, and make it work for you. Have a plan and make money work as hard for you as you do to earn it. Engage your finances with the tips above and stay happy together.Photo by wwarby
Fern Alix-LaRocca is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Financial Coach with over 25 years experience as a fee-only Financial Advisor. Get do-it-yourself financial planning advice by subscribing to her free e-newsletter at http://www.wholeheartedway.com
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.