Note: This article is courtesy of Iris.xyz
By Taylor Schulte
Studies show that regardless of a person’s income level, fights about money are among the biggest frictions in a marriage and top contributors to divorce.
People often see financial success differently; however, there are things you can do to ensure that friction is minimized so that you can spend more time doing the things you love and building a life together.
Whether you just embarked on a lifelong journey with your significant other or plan on saying your “I do’s” in the forthcoming years, below are my financial recommendations for a happier union.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT MONEY IS KEY
I’ve been in this industry for years, and yet I’m still surprised by how many people don’t discuss finances with their partners. While some simply prefer not to talk about money, others just don’t know how to go about it. It’s important to note, however, that keeping the financial lines of communication open is essential for success.
There are plenty of ways to communicate about money. For one, having an ongoing financial check-up on the calendar—whether it’s weekly, monthly or even semi-annually—is a great way to touch base and check on current fiscal affairs.
In our house, we call it a financial round table, where my wife and I sit down together and discuss our financial situation. We identify goals and get a clear sense of where we are financially and where we want to be in a month’s time or in five years. Doing so can go a long way to ensure both people are working toward the same goals and minimize any spending and savings miscommunication.[related_stories]
COUPLES THAT SAVE TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER
In addition to hosting a recurring financial round table, I recommend having a budget in place and a plan for saving as a couple. Even if your idea of saving and your contributions may be different from your partner’s, putting a plan together on how to budget your expenses and save toward common goals can minimize misunderstandings and, in turn, conflicts over money.
Creating a family budget starts with aggregating your revenues and writing down every possible expense, including a line item for savings, allowing for miscellaneous items that may come up unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter if you are allocating $10 or $1,000 to savings monthly as a start—the important thing is that you’re saving and growing those contributions together.
Also, if you have big plans ahead, such as a new baby, a trip, or continued education, you can create an additional savings account with that purpose in mind. That way you won’t be dipping into your core savings and maximize the interest on those funds.