Money and marriage can be a very tricky combination. Done right, and you both could be well on your way to financial freedom and achieving joint goals. Done wrong, and it may lead you down the path to be part of the statistic that the second leading cause of divorce is due to money issues.
I know which side I want to end up on.
I want to share how my husband and I have managed our money for years.
We’ve overcome a number of challenges over the years – long distance, moving 4 times, buying and selling homes, raising two kids and a pup, managed multiple devastating family losses, change of careers, etc. etc.
We’ve been through a lot together. I’m proud of us for many reasons, one of which being our financial teamwork.
Money and marriage can be a challenging obstacle for couples to overcome.
We share our financial goals, our wants and needs and the path in which to achieve them.
Not one of us is the ultimate decision marker – we both play an active role in making major financial decisions because those decisions whether for one person or the other will impact both of us over time.
He loves playing golf. I love to travel. These are non-negotiable. They both have to happen for our individual happiness.
In this season of life as parents, we recognize those non negotiables may not happen as much as we want but they are always going to be part of our life and in the spending plan.
We both like nice things, but we don’t HAVE to have them.
We like going out to nice dinners, but we don’t ALWAYS need them.
We value what money can provide for us to better our lives and don’t get lost in and caught up in the opportunity it provides us to buy more things that we don’t need.
We have talked about money openly and honestly for as long as I can remember.
We don’t talk about who owes who or why did you spend X on Y. Those conversations are trivial and waste so much space in what should be meaningful and thoughtful money conversations.
Instead, we talk about what we want. What we don’t want. Who we want to help. And how to make it possible.
Our retirement accounts are in our individual name, as they have to be, but everything else is joint.
This is made possible because of the trust we have in each other and also our joint financial engagement and awareness. Neither of us take a back seat to the finances and because of that, I think it lends itself to more financial trust.
What’s mine is his. And what’s his is mine.
This may not work for everyone, and that’s ok. But it works for us. Money and marriage is very personal and if you have a system that works for you, where you feel aware, included, informed and have ownership…then by all means, continue using the system that works best for you.
If you are currently struggling in regard to the finances and your significant other, I hope you make it a priority to open the lines of communication and work to resolve the issues that have been piling up sooner rather than later.
It’s important for your financial future…and especially your partnership.
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