The quality of your marriage depends a lot on how you manage your finances as a couple. There is a lot of fantasy and mythology attached to marriage. Our literature and our culture reinforce the belief that a marriage is a fairy tale adventure and once married u live happily ever after. But in reality you have to encounter life totally in a different way after marriage. The matters which look trivial before marriage may be the ones which can guarantee your happiness and peace of mind after marriage. Out of many other things which look very ordinary but are very important for your happy marriage is the money matter.
How you will manage your finances as a couple will form a big part of how you will feel about each other.
General Pain Points in Managing Finances as Couples
I have talked to various men and women who are in married relationships regarding this matter. I have found out that in most of the cases there is some sort of grudge or reservation regarding the management of finances with their spouses.
The pattern of issues is somewhat similar across board whether both husband and wife are earning or only the husband is earning. The following came out to be the most common pain points regarding managing finances as couples.
- Some men think that their wives only consider them as ATMs and they are only interested in money.
- Some wives think that they have to beg their husbands for their expenditures.
- Some working moms of young children feel over burdened by the added responsibility of making money. They want their husbands to solely take the burden of earning so that they can stay home with their kids.
- Some working ladies are unhappy with their husbands for trying to micro manage their finances.
- Some working women think that they put in their share for big investments but they have no legal ownership of the property as the husbands buy things (like houses, lands and vehicles) on their names.
- Some working couples struggle to find the balance of sharing the financial responsibility of the house hold and so on.
What You Can Do To Manage Your Finances Well as a Couple
In my opinion in order to improve the management of finances as couple following 9 points are really helpful. They not only solve problems related to money but are also helpful in taking your marital relationship to the next level.
Good communication is the cornerstone of any marriage. Most resentments regarding the finances are due to lack of communication between the couple. The first step in the improvement process, for both husband and wife, would be to communicate your likes, dislikes, preferences, goals and expectations regarding your finances in an open, friendly and respectable manner to your spouse. You need to make sure that you are not assuming anything just be categorically clear in your discussion.
After effectively communicating your expectations and desires the next step would be to find a common ground. You might need to have several discussions before you could reach this stage but believe me it’s worth it. Take your time, if you keep your discussions open and healthy you will find the common ground sooner than later.
Know Your Income and Expenses
Knowing your income and spending according to it is very important. I know quite a few women who think that their husbands are earning a lot. In reality poor husband is barely managing from paycheck to paycheck. Best practice would be to write down your current expenses, expected future expenses and make a budget according to that.
Spending wisely is essential to keep your expenses in check. Nowadays there is a trend to buy expensive gadgets and designer outfits just to impress your friends or family. Buying out of peer pressure is one of the main causes of financial woes of couples. If you really want to indulge yourself in shopping sprees then wait for deals and end of season sales.
Be Aware of Your Responsibilities
Whether you are in a set up where both partners are working or only one is earning, be aware of your responsibilities. Especially in those cases only husband or wife is earning the one who is making money should take extra care of the unemployed one. Little gestures to give your spouse some financial independence will go a long way in building your relationship as a couple.
Similarly the financially dependent partner should take the responsibility of spending someone’s hard earned money wisely.
Keep an Emergency Fund
Try to put some money in your emergency fund. You don’t need to put aside a big amount. A little of something goes a long way, just set aside a small amount each month and it will add up over time.
As Jim Rohn has said, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” I believe that when you do good for others it comes back in unexpected ways. Give some amount, however small may be, to the needy and you will not only open ways for monetary benefits in future but it will also increase your emotional health and happiness.
Try To Find Multiple Streams of Income
If you think you are tight on your finances then try to find multiple streams of income. Brainstorm your ideas, your skills and your passions you will definitely find something which will help you earn more bucks.
Don’t Compare Your Family’s Financial Situation With Others
Comparison is the killer of joy. There will always be someone who is more blessed and wealthy than you. If you will look up to those who are above you then dissatisfaction and urge to spend more and more to satisfy your ego will set in. Focus on your own life and your own resources and needs.
Without the mindset of competing someone else you can always find ways to improve your finances. Just work hard, be happy and money will come sooner or later.
(If you are interested in how not to compare your life with others click here)
Give Priority To Your Spouse Not Money
Money is important but at the end of the day it’s your relationship with your spouse that is the most important thing. Communicate well and work on your money matters but whenever you have to choose between your spouse and money, choose your spouse.
Managing your finances as a couple is important in marriage. With the right kind of attitude, strategies and work towards the common goals can help a great deal in eradicating your financial woes.
Would you like to add anything to the list? Give your feedback in the comment section.
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