Marriage & Money: Making Financial Decisions Together
I recently spoke with businessinsider.com about the actions couples can take to have a financially successful marriage. It all begins with open and honest communication. I encourage each partner to share not only their financial information–retirement and investment account balances, credit card and other debts, spending habits, etc.–but also any issues or fears they have about managing their finances. In my experience I find there is usually one spouse or partner who takes the lead over the family finances. It is important that all of the information be out in the open and be accessible to both, especially for the partner who may be watching over things on a regular basis. Open and honest communication on money matters builds trust and a sense of harmony.
Another important step is to set goals and make financial decisions as a couple. Joint goal setting is a way to communicate to your partner that your collective interests are more important than individual needs. Most couples will find their priorities aren’t always in line. For some, this might lead to frustration, but others may find this leads to making compromises or taking turns in getting what you want. I think most would agree that the ability to compromise is a key factor in maintaining a strong relationship.
I also encourage couples to take care of the basics right away just in case something unfortunate happens. For example, establish an emergency fund (3 – 6 months’ worth of spending needs) so that some money will be available if there’s a casualty or loss of wages; make sure each partner has a basic amount of life insurance and that all beneficiary designations are up to date. A few basic steps like this help create a strong financial foundation; one a couple can build upon for years to come.
You can read more tips here: http://www.businessinsider.com/smartest-thing-to-do-with-money-marriage-2017-7
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