By Guest Finance Blogger Karen Reynolds
My social media is buzzing with weddings and engagements -beautiful smiles and gorgeous rings symbolizing the holy matrimony. But, what about the matriMoney? After the wedding and honeymoon, the realness begins. According to CNBC.com, money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Have you had a serious conversation about money with your spouse or soon to be spouse?
If you are considering marriage, talk deeply about money. Set matriMoney dates. Yes! Dates where you discuss finances. Identifying who is the saver and spender among you could prove quite interestingly. However, learn how to be both. Spark the conversation with questions that encourage a safe and open dialogue. Look deep before you leap! Pull out the bank and retirement savings statements, pull credit scores, tax returns, social security statements, child support statements, and utility bills. Go through these to learn how one another manages personal finances. Discuss which of you is better qualified to handle the finances in your marriage.
A reader emailed me about how helping out a spouse’s family on a consistent basis had become detrimental to their finances. This is an example of why budgets are so important. Including a category for charitable giving within your household budget that extends to giving or lending money to family might ease the tension. This can also work for each spouse as a personal budget for their perspective families. Whatever amount is decided upon for monthly, quarterly or yearly giving, stick to it. When it’s gone – it’s gone.
No one in a relationship wants to feel controlled. Two independent people who find themselves having to share accounts and holding one another accountable for money transactions can be an uncompromising struggle if not discussed beforehand. Selecting who will be the deciding vote when a decision has to be made when neither can agree can be a good strategy. Not every purchase may need to be discussed, but be in agreement about what has to be discussed. And remember, meeting with a financial professional to obtain an overview of your finances can provide an eye opening perspective. Holla if you hear your money.
Karen Reynolds is the Financial Guest Blogger for Hollaifyouhearme.com