I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
Here are ways to contribute to the ‘richer’ part of your vows 😉 Avoid these six financial mistakes couple make and let’s see what Money Smart Magazine has to say:
1. Merging the Finances
The Wrong Approach: United we stand, divided we bank.
My Suggested Approach: It’s yours, mine and ours.
Smart Money Magazine shares that one of the most difficult decisions newly married couples make is how or if they will merge their finances. They suggest that it is not healthy to have completely separate financial accounts and that a better approach is for each spouse to have their own account but to have a joint account where most of the household expenses are paid. They do add that the best approach is to completely merge your finances, but sometimes it’s easier to work gradually toward that.
2. Dealing With Debt
The Wrong Approach: Your debt will ruin us; you must find a way to pay it off.
My Suggested Approach: It’s our debt: Let’s decide how to pay it off together.
Smart Money states in their survey that the #1 reason sparking fights among couples was debt (37%). This can be especially touchy when one spouse enters the marriage with considerably more debt than the other. Once you become married though it is very important that you work together to make the payments on all of your debts and hopefully make progress on eliminating them.
3. Keeping Spending in Check
The Wrong Approach: I’m a saver and you’re a spender. That’s the problem.
My Suggested Approach: We both spend, but on different things. Let’s budget.
Spending was the second most common reason for financial fights in the study. They noted that both men and women spend, they just typically spend in different ways. Women tend to spend more often but for smaller amounts. Men spend less frequently, but when they do it is often on much larger purchases. It is important that both spouses learn to work together in their spending, and the budget is the vehicle to accomplish this.
4. Investing Wisely
The Wrong Approach: You’re a risk-taker, I’m risk-averse. Hands off our retirement savings.
My Suggested Approach: Let’s think in time frames and take as much risk as our goals allow.
Smart Money notes that men and women tend to have different tolerances for risk. This can lead to problems when it comes to investing. It is important to find a quality financial planner that can help you assess your financial situation, your long-term goals, and devise a plan to get you there. This may involve some compromise from both parties.
5. Keeping Money Secrets
The Wrong Approach: What my spouse doesn’t know will never hurt him/her.
My Suggested Approach: Big financial secrets can ruin a marriage.
Smart Money says that 36% of men and 40% of women admitted to having lied to their spouse about something they purchased. This is very dangerous ground. Keeping financial secrets is another sure-fire way to land in divorce court.
6. Emergency Planning
The Wrong Approach: We’re fine. We don’t need to worry about money.
My Suggested Approach: Anything could happen. Let’s plan for emergencies.
An emergency fund greatly reduces stress when hard times hit. Having an appropriate amount of savings set aside will help your marriage survive the storms of life. Start with building three months expenses.
So peeps make sure you are and your partner are in financial sync.
I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward.
By Rasheda Khatun Khan
Wellness & Wealth Expert, Kinesiology Practitioner
Rasheda has been inspiring thousands of people across the globe for over 8 years. With her corporate financial background, mastery in leadership & mentoring and her gained wisdom from healing herself from cancer, she has become a leading expert in personal wellness in the areas of financial wellbeing, increasing your vitality and KinesioCoaching.