Most often money is a tense subject to discuss among couples and one survey found that 95% of married adults believe “financial responsibility” is important when considering a spouse – more than attractions and other traits. True or False?
But whatever your answer is, it is important for couples, especially those planning to get married, to avoid these biggest mistakes couples make regarding their finances, and use them as a how-to guide to avoid the worst of your possible money problems.
1. You don’t ‘ever’ talk about money
Once you make up your mind to get married to that man or that woman, having an open conversation about money shouldn’t be a problem if “all is fair in love.” According to experts, “how money was handled in the past will often influence our spending personalities and how we handle money now, which is why it’s important to understand our partner’s money history.”
By discussing money in your relationship you will have a chance to be honest about the debts you’re bringing in, and learn about the ones your partner might have. Experts suggest that having the money discussion early in relationships is one of the best ways to create common savings goals.
2. Only one person is responsible for managing finance
In this millennial world, it disapproving for only one partner to manage the finances when the couple are supposed to be teammates. If one spouse is devoting time to your collective finances, it means the other might have a much murkier view of what’s going on – and leave the money-managing person feeling resentful for taking on all of the workloads.
Experts advise couples to have at the very least, a regular check-in meeting – ‘money date,’where both of you go over your finances together, maybe once per month, to touch base about your financial decisions.
Not only will this make you both know where your money is going, but it will prevent the pitfall of feeling like you’re asking your partner for permission to spend the money you earned.
3. You rush the decision about merging bank accounts
Why? this is a most logical and romantic thing to do, you might say. But experts warn that it shouldn’t be a decision to rush into by both partners so as not to complicate the relationship in the end.
They advise that unless you’re both comfortable and trust each other enough, there’s no need to merge your accounts for the obvious reason of one spouse’s draining a mutual account, or worse, dividing assets in the event of a breakup or divorce.
Some couples choose to keep everything separate, others keep their personal accounts but also create a joint account for household expenses, and others choose to create a completely joint account.
4. Keeping money secrets from each other
You might wonder why this might bring a rift between couples. Experts say this is similar to stealing money from a company, while research has shown that millions of couples have kept financial accounts hidden from their spouses.
Whether you’re paying child support for offspring you never mentioned, supporting a relative financially or you can’t get your spending habit under control, a committed relationship is no place to keep money secrets.
This can be avoided if you have regular money meetings to discuss finances and be honest about it. According to a personal finance writer, Gail Vaz-Oxlade;
“Communication is Job One in the survival of any relationship, and if you can’t bare your financial soul to your partner, if you can’t trust that person to tell you the truth, you should not be getting married.”
5. You don’t save for emergencies
This should be another agenda in every couples’ list of financial priorities. A survey has shown that more than 48 percent couples do not put money aside for rainy days such as car repair or hospital visit. Experts say that holiday can keep you from financial disaster and keep you from accumulating debt that plummets beyond recovery.
Therefore to avoid that, agree with your partner on the best means to start building up an emergency savings fund. Since it’s a step by step deal, it doesn’t have to be a huge amount, but you’ll be thankful you took the time to pay yourself when trouble inevitably comes knocking.