Managing Money After Marriage
A couple faces many adjustments and compromises after getting married. Such as deciding on household chores, adapting to life with one another versus living alone, and deciding on family and career goals. But, one of the most challenging issues that a new couple navigates is managing the finances.
You’re Not In Kan$a$ Anymore…
Finances is a complicated and challenging issue for most couples, especially the newly married. You can no longer spend money freely. You must work together for the financial well being of the relationship.
Who will pay the bills and balance the checkbook? How much needs to be saved and invested? How much will be budgeted for entertainment or personal items that each wishes to buy? Will the main earner be in charge of the finances, with one partner being accountable to the other? How will the bank accounts be set up – will they be joint or separate? Will credit cards be taken out in both names, or will each have their own?
Address these questions right away to avoid conflict and arguments later on. If one partner resents asking permission to buy something, bad feelings will result. If one feels they are paying for more than their share, resentment and frustration will build.
Dealing with all of these issues straight from the beginning and discussing how each partner believes is the best way to manage the finances between them, allows for open communication in the future. Each partner should feel they have an equal say in managing the finances.
Consider putting a financial plan in writing as soon as possible; it doesn’t have to be long or complicated; do what fits your style. Identify how much money you’ll both be bringing in and how it will be divided so that it’ll be fair to both parties.
Ensure that enough is being set aside for emergencies, which can often lead to unexpected conflict and stress in a marriage. Work for win-win compromises that make you both happy with how you’re spending your money.
The New Reality
It’s important to remember that what once was mine, and yours has now become ours.
Learning to manage money after marriage will most likely be one of the most difficult adjustments you will make. But, if you remember to work together as a team and communicate openly about your values and ideas, you’ll have little trouble making adjustments and managing money to protect the relationship’s financial health.