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Financial Compatibility with your Spouse

Financial Compatibility with your Spouse

February 16, 2022
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Getting married is one of the most significant life decisions a person makes. You should not go into a marriage unless you are confident that you have chosen the right partner. The decision to get married is very personal. To find compatibility in your relationship, you and your partner must agree, adapt to each other's lifestyles, cooperate in your goals, and be attuned to one another's personality. The more work you do on the front end, the more successful your marriage. Many factors contribute to a successful marriage, such as love, commitment, trust, time, attention, and good communication.

Making a marriage successful takes work, though. Both spouses need to make each other their priority and compromise. It is about making each other happy and respecting their needs.

When I met my wife Angela, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Sharing your life with someone you love and building a future together was exactly what we both desired. But before any of that could happen, we had to discuss the important issues. One of the most common causes of stress in a relationship is money. According to AICPA research, nearly three in four (73%) married or cohabitating Americans say financial decisions are a source of tension in their relationship. Of these, nearly half (47%) admit this tension has negatively impacted intimacy with their partner. [1] It is important for couples to discuss financial values to ensure you are both on the same page. Open communication is the key to navigating a topic such as money.

To get you started, here are a few conversations to have with your spouse:

Values

Mapping out a plan for a successful financial future, you need to understand where the money is coming from. But more importantly, you need to make sure you align on future goals you both want to achieve. Your future financial habits are impacted significantly by how you were raised. Start the conversation early on how you want to spend the earned money, who will manage the household finances, and what priorities as a couple will be important in the future that requires a secure financial plan.

Managing the Money

There are three ways that couples manage their finances: separately, jointly, or with a combination of separate and joint accounts. Communication is key to how you decide to handle this. Weigh your options to determine the best method for you. Managing money together is a big step in any relationship. Trusting your partner, good communication, teamwork and knowing your options can help you find the most appropriate way to manage your bank accounts for your relationship.

Goals

Take the time to honestly discuss your short-term and long-term goals. Be diligent and thoughtful when communicating with your partner. More is less in this instance! Whether you are saving for a new home, paying off debt, a dream family vacation, your future kids college savings plans, or finally getting that boat you always wanted. Don’t forget retirement. Review your existing plans and savings and go over how you can continue to prepare for the future. Be cautious not to criticize your partners goals. From there, work together to make a list of the top goals you both want to achieve, make sure it’s both fair and manageable. Try to schedule time to check in on your goal status. They can change over time, and that is a perfect time to reorganize if need be. 

Those who budget together, stay together

Budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your money, it ensures that you will always have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. Following a budget will also keep you out of debt or help you work your way out of debt if you are currently in debt. Do not forget to discuss your progress and unexpected expenses regularly. Creating a routine can make the conversations around money so much more pleasant.

Team works make the dream work

Communication is critical in any situation. Trust your spouse to be open and honest with you. Avoid negativity as best you can. Plan to avoid arguments, no one wants to fight with their partner if it can be avoided. When you set expectations up front, conflict can easily be avoided. My wife and I celebrate 19 years of marriage this June. We put a lot of time and effort into making sure we are always honest and open with each other. But we also know we are human- we own our mistakes and apologize when wrong. Listening and cultivating a solid marriage takes time. Make sure you are both putting in the work!