You can probably guess that money is the number one reason married couples fight, and you’d be right. That’s not how it should be, though. Here at True Sky Credit Union we don’t want your finances to be the reason your relationship is in the pits. Money isn’t supposed to be something that controls your life, but instead the other way around–but we get it, that’s easier said than done. To shine light on common money & marriage issues, we have compiled 10 financial tips for healthy relationships, so keep reading!
10 Financial Tips For Healthy Relationships
1. Discuss lifestyle choices together
A good marriage always has good communication with each other about everything, including lifestyle choices. A good marriage is also full of compromise. Let’s say you tend to like name-brand items, but your partner is fine with getting things that have been previously used at a typically cheaper price. If your budget allows for all name-brand things, then no biggie. But if your budget doesn’t allow for all name-brand things, then maybe it’s time to create the habit of thrift shopping, like your partner, instead.
2. Don’t let salary differences come between you
In most relationships, one makes more money than the other. This oftentimes, causes the partner who brings in more money to sometimes feel entitled to the most say in where their money goes–that’s just asking for relationship problems. It’s important to realize that regardless of who brings in the most money, you and your partner are a team and there’s no reason to hold a higher income over your partner’s head. Equality in voice is an important part of money & marriage.
3. Be honest and open about purchases
Deceit in relationships isn’t always a result of an unfaithful partner. Sometimes deceit comes in the form of unfaithful finances, which happens when a partner opens a secret bank account or stashes away money without telling their partner, etc. Being open and honest about purchases, any additional checking, savings, or even credit cards that you have opened, is crucial in maintaining financial trust and transparency between partners. Again, you and your partner are a team, and should act as so.
4. Have regular financial check-ups with each other
Many couples don’t talk about money until they’re married, but the lack of knowledge about your partner’s financial situation and habits can be risky. Your partner’s past financial mistakes and debt become your issue as well, potentially causing an even bigger issue within your relationship. Don’t stop the financial check-ups with each other after you tie the knot, though. Regular financial check-ups for you and your partner keep communication within your relationship open and easy.
5. Create a budget that fits both of your lifestyles
You’ll see that the term “team” keeps popping up throughout these tips. Tip #5 is no excuse, and creating a budget as a team is a crucial part to a healthy money & marriage financial relationship. Get all of your bills and other financial paperwork together—literally bring everything out so that it is easier to calculate and create a combined budget with your partner. Also remember to keep an open mind about things, and always include at least one date night for the two of you.
6. Decide who manages what
In a relationship, it’s important to have a set of realistic financial expectations for each other. The quickest way to an argument is to have unmet and/or unrealistic expectations for your spouse without them being aware in the first place. For example, if you are wanting to buy a house, but your partner doesn’t know that and therefore doesn’t put in the effort to save, then that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of who manages what in order to ensure each person is playing their part in their combined goals. One of your incomes might be put towards buying a house whereas the other’s income might be for those day-to-day expenses.
7. Update your benefits
Once you’re married, you might want to look into adding your partner as a beneficiary–aka the person who would receive your money and benefits if something were to happen to you, and vice versa.
8. Update your withholdings
If you’re married, you have the option of whether or not to file taxes together. Talk to your spouse about your taxes and withholdings to figure out the best route for you and your situation.
9. Discuss whether to combine or not combine bank accounts
This tip is 100% personal preference. There are many different ways to manage money in marriages. You might want to open a joint account which would link your individual accounts. Or, you might want to continue using separate accounts. Either way, in both circumstances, financial transparency and honesty with each other is the key.
10. Discuss big purchases together
The last tip that we have for you is once again about teamwork. Discussing big purchases together, like a home, or a car, or a pet, is no longer “mine and their life”. It is “our” life that requires both opinions and participation in moving forward.
True Sky Credit Union Encourages Healthy Financial Relationships
We want you and your partner to have complete control and understanding of your money, and True Sky Credit Union is here to help that be possible. Sorting through money matters and takes time and patience, just like relationships do. If you have questions about checking or savings accounts, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, or how to become a member, we have online agents ready to chat whenever you are; just visit our website. Prefer to talk to a representative face to face? Drop by any of our 12 locations to get the full True Sky Credit Union experience. We cannot wait to help you and your partner create a healthy financial relationship!