Marital Bliss Can Be Found With Healthy Financial Attitudes
By Contributing Advice Expert View more articles
Marriage is work between two people who have different ideas and attitudes about a wide variety of situations and issues. One of the biggest killers of a marriage is the financial attitudes that each holds and may not be compatible. Before walking down the aisle, it is important to talk about the finances and what that looks like for both of you. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable topic of discussion but you need to come to an understanding long before blending the finances.
To Join Or Not?
Traditionally, married couples would have joint saving and checking accounts. This requires a lot of trust on the other person to not spend money without notifying the other. Or to recklessly spend. No matter how prepared you are, it will happen at some point, and you need a game plan on how to handle those issues, should you suddenly have an unexpected expense and the account is at zero.
A rising number of couples have gone the route of separate accounts. That may be a joint housing account that each deposits money into and is used for paying household bills while holding separate savings accounts. For some couples, they find more success at dividing the bills between each other (often based on their income levels if there is a significant difference) and maintain individual accounts that they use to pay the bills that they are responsible for. While this may sound like a fantastic idea, what happens if the one responsible for the car payment defaults? Or the one responsible for the electricity doesn’t pay the bill? That’s where having a clear understanding of where you stand with finances and a concise plan for paying bills comes in handy!
What Happens if You Get Stuck?
At some point, things happen and you may suddenly find yourself in a financial bind. It could be that one of you were laid off or an accident occurred and you are now buried in medical debt. Unexpected things happen a lot and if you don’t have a large chunk of savings to rely on, you need to know how to handle these situations together. Some of those options are:
- Installment loans
- Asking family or friends for help
- Use emergency credit cards to float through
- Sell items you no longer use or need for extra cash
Whether you use one option or all of them, you will get through the financial hardship and be able to get back on your feet.
Focus on Saving
Savings may seem completely out of reach, but it is something you can accomplish with careful planning. It is recommended that you save enough to cover all your regular bills for six months. That can take time to do but with determination and focus, it is achievable! If you are considering, or have opted for, maintaining separate accounts, the savings account goal should be set for three months each of your wages. Once you have that in place, keep saving! Save for a trip, save for new piece tech you have been dying to have. The more that you can save, the better you can bounce back from an unexpected expense and you won’t have to rely on other methods to help.
Talking finances might seem like one of the most unromantic things to discuss, but it’s one that can lend to your successful and loving marriage. When you come together and work as a team, you will become unstoppable and be able to achieve the dreams that you dream together.