Marriage is hard enough without money. But, money often complicates things even more.
The following is a guest post from Dan & Kay.
Dan & Kay are Financial Coaches with almost 1000 clients who live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their 2 children. They enjoy traveling, teaching others about money, and reading an inordinate amount of books. You can learn more about their approach to personal finances by attending one of their free budgeting classes at: www.centseifinance.com/free-budgeting-class/
The differences in our marriage often manifest themselves through our finances.
Here are some examples and what what do do about them:
In marriage, each person comes from a different financial culture. We're not just talking rich, middle class, poor. There are different values and cultures that are within different social classes. Maybe your family really valued eating out and spending money on eating out helped you feel bonded to those you go out to eat with.
Maybe it was movies, small gifts, big Christmases, etc. We all come into marriage with different cultures, and to form the money culture of our marriage, we have to intentionally work together to design what the culture looks like.
The first step is acknowledging and dissecting the money culture we come from.
Often couples have the same end financial goals in marriage, (such as comfort, security, wealth, freedom, etc.) but it manifests itself in different ways and different paths on how to achieve such goals.
A lot of frustration can be avoided in marriage if couples will create a "financial roadmap".
This is essentially working together to create the step-by-step path of goals you will achieve one by one to get to where you want to go.
It's incredibly powerful to map out what each person's desires and goals are and see how they can build upon each other to help you get what you both want.
You can both achieve your financial dreams if you make the plan together.
Personal finance is easy to outsource to your partner, especially when your spouse has a lot of interest in budgeting, tracking, and being in control, and you don't really care to be involved.
However, money in marriage is not just your or your spouse's responsibility. You both need to be involved to some degree.
When a spouse completely "outsources" money management to their partner, it creates conflict due to a lack of communication.
Take time weekly to sit down and discuss your financial situation. It doesn't mean you both need to pay the bills, transfer the money, or buy the groceries.
It does mean that the overall strategy, plan, and budget is intentionally designed by both of you.
Nothing is more powerful in a marriage when partners can work towards a single financial goal they both agree on. This creates a unified, focused effort, that ripples through every other aspect of a marriage.
Working on achieving a goal together brings unity, love, care, and attention to the other person because achieving this goal reflects not only your commitment to it, but to each other.
Instead of trying to achieve 3-5 financial goals at once, focus on one. Talk about what you will both do to achieve it, and when you would like to achieve it by. Weekly, discuss your progress towards this goal.
If you make this habit, you'll find there's nothing your marriage can't achieve.