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10 Tips and Tricks for Handling Money Issues in a Marriage

by Aunt Becky on December 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Money.

It's one of the most common causes for marital strife and one of the most common reasons that couples separate. It's not always an easy subject to broach -- a lot of people have differing spending habits, different ways to handle money, and sometimes, those differences can't be easily solved.

Here are some tips for handling money in a relationship:

1) Don't make the money talk into a big production. While one partner may spend while the other is a saver, it's important that you're both open and honest about the way you handle the finances.

2) Come up with some mutually agreed upon reasonable guidelines for ways to handle money. It can be as simple as running purchases over X dollars by your partner BEFORE spending it.

3) Come up with some reasonable goals for your life -- saving for college, trips, and how to keep on top of all the holiday spending so you're not constantly dipping into savings.

4) Set up a savings account, and each week, put five dollars in there. It sounds like chump change, but it can add up over time.

5) Decide whether or not you should have mutual bank accounts or separate ones. This can be a huge help for couples who have different ways of handling money.

6) Begin to track your spending before putting together a budget. Each day, write down how much you've spent and on what using a shared spreadsheet. This can help you identify things you're overspending on and ways you can make the budget work.

7) Create a realistic budget that actually works for you. It may appear that the weekly Starbucks runs are indulgent, but perhaps this is how your partner blows off steam and gets away from work for awhile.

8) Set aside some money as "fun money" for the month. Use it to do dinner out, see a movie, or buy something for the house. You don't want to feel guilty for having fun -- just make sure that it's within the budget.

9) Have weekly meetings about the budget and make them fun, not super serious and scary. In those meetings (maybe make some popcorn?), make sure you check in with each other as to how you're both handling the budget, if it's working, and plot out any upcoming bills.

10) Work together to make sure your finances are under control and that you're both on the same page with the money stuff. It's awkward to talk about at first, especially if you're not accustomed to it, but remember that you're a team -- you can do this.

Any other advice for handling money in a marriage?


Image via Tax Credits/Flickr

Filed Under: breakups, divorce

Comments

3
  • amiec...
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    amiecanflie

    December 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    These are some great tips!

     


  • Liane...
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    Lianetherider

    December 27, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    I used to be quite good at budgeting, but for some reason I've slipped on that in the last few years. My husband is good with his money (most of the time), so we've always kept our accounts separate. I work part time and go to school, so all I pay for is my car payment and gas before my paychecks are used up. Something that we do that might help others in a similar situation is that when I get a large amount of money- say, from a gift- I give most of it to him to hold onto. He keeps track of how much I have, and having to ask him for my money helps to keep me accountable for it since I don't want to ask for it for "stupid things". Once I'm working in my career field we'll probably have to change this up a bit, but it works really well for someone like me that blows through cash like crazy.


  • hello...
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    hellokd87

    December 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    My fiancee and I (with the help of his father who was a former accountant) made up a budget of our bills and things we pay each month. For example, not only did we have split bills like utilities and the mortgage payment, but my fiancee calculated what HE pays in his column such as gym membership and hair cuts, and I calculated my Zumba Instructor's Network monthly payment as well as weekly hair maintenance costs. Then we calculated how much we have at the end of the month and that dictates how much "free money" we have to either spend or save. Somehow, we always end up spending it right under our own noses but we've drastically cut down on our take out dinners and "extracurricular activities". Plus we have our wedding coming up next year so we're still having to save for that as well.


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