Money is always a stressful subject no matter who you are or who you’re with. Some newlywed couples aren’t quite sure what to do in certain situations. How do we file taxes? What do we do about debt? There are plenty of questions to ask, but there are three big mistakes that every couple should look out for. Avoiding these money pitfalls will put you on firmer financial ground for your marriage.
1. Merging everything all at once, right now.
There’s no need to rush into a banking merge. Not all your finances need to be filed into a joint account the second you say, “I do.” Instead, take a little time to learn about one another’s saving and spending habits, and see what works best for you. Many couples have no qualms about putting all their finance into one pot, whereas others prefer to keep things separate.
Many assume they know how their partner handles money, but until you see them in action, take your time. When you both know your money preferences, you can make the best decisions regarding accounts. A lot of newlyweds are better off with an overall balance; money for him, money for her, and money for both. As you learn and grow as a couple, you may decide to go all in. Take your time – there’s no rush.
2. Spending, spending, spending.
Spending can quickly become a touchy subject if not handled properly. Oftentimes, someone in the relationship becomes the “spender” and that’s where a problem can arise. Typically, the issue lies within how the money is actually spent. Perhaps you spend money on smaller things like groceries, bills, and maybe a pair of shoes for yourself, while your spouse brings home a new laptop. In the end, you both spent about the same, but it’s easy to see how the perception can get skewed.
Take time to sit down with one another and discuss how much of the budget should be spent on particular items. Specify how much should be spent on necessary items and how much can be spent on fun, larger purchases. Make it a win-win situation for everyone.
3. Keeping secrets.
Let’s face it, secrets are bad for any marriage (except for that surprise birthday party for your spouse – that’s okay). This is especially true for secrets involving money. A common secret is about how much an item actually costs. True, it won’t break a marriage if you said that $40 scarf was only $30, but doing this repeatedly shows that there is an issue. If too much money is being secreted away, it’s a good idea to get some outside help.
Don’t let money get in the way of your marriage! Do you have any stories of financial woes from the early days of your marriage? Let our readers avoid your mistakes…leave a comment today!