5 Ways to Address Your Finances as a Couple

Author: Chris Hartwell, MSW
Published: September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm
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Couple dealing with financesTalking about money isn’t exactly romantic, however, not addressing financial problems can create a lot of marriage problems. Learning how to talk about your finances is an important skill to make your marriage successful.

Managing your money is all about finding a balance. Ignore your finances and money can become a problem as you likely won’t reach your financial goals. However, it’s equally important to ensure that money doesn’t run your life. It’s all about finding a balance where you feel in control of your money.

Learning how to have a healthy relationship with money gets complicated when you are working together as a couple. Therefore, it is important to talk about your finances in a healthy way. This can help ensure you are working together as a team and you can double your earning and saving power.

Discuss Your Financial Roles

Talk openly about your financial role within the marriage. Will you be the one who pays the bills? Will you enter your financial information into budgeting software? Having a job in the family finances is important.

Also, discuss what steps you can take to help save money. For example, will you be in charge of searching for the lowest phone plan? Will your spouse be in charge of finding the best interest rates for your savings? Or maybe you will sell something on the internet. There are lots of ways to earn and save money. Ensuring that both of you have a role in saving money can give you both some ownership in the family budget.

Sometimes when one partner earns more or all of the money, it can set up the dynamics that “he who earns the most is in the most control of the money.” However, marriage should be about partnership which means it is important for you to be partners in your finances. Learning how you can save money and work together on a plan helps ensure that you both feel equally valued in the family budget.

Set and Revise Your Budget Together

Unfortunately, most couples don’t know what their budget is. So if you don’t have an established budget, make one! Sit down together and figure out how much your bills total each month and how much money you have coming in each month. This gets slightly more complicated if your income is not stable each month. You may need the help of a financial planner if this is the case.

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Article Author: Chris Hartwell, MSW

Chris Hartwell, MSW, is the founder of "Talk About Marriage" (http://talkaboutmarriage.com), "The Marriage Counseling Blog" (http://marriagecounselingblog.com), and "The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory" (http://family-marriage-counseling.com). …

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