Among married couples, one of the subject matters that causes the most tension, leads to the greatest infighting, is money. Indeed, one of the major issues underlying divorce cases is some sort of dispute pertaining to finances or money. If you are married, or otherwise involved in a relationship with a significant other, you are far from alone if you find yourself in arguments about money.
Fighting over money does not need to be inevitable. There are some strategies that you can employ that reduce the prospect that you and your spouse, or significant other, will end up fighting about money issues.source
One of the most important steps you must take in order to avoid disputes is financial transparency. From early on in your relationship with you spouse or significant other, you need to be financially transparent. If you’ve not yet married, or entered into a truly committed relationship, you and your partner need to be honest in exchanging information about your assets and debts. Being open and honest about debt related issues particularly is important. More than a few marriages end annually because a spouse learns of debt issues after wedded life has commenced.
As a related matter, when it comes to financial transparency between the parties to a marriage (or a pending marriage) and a committed relationship, a suitable, appropriate exchange of documents needs to occur. While it is true that documents can support verbal representations made about assets and debts, the provide other significant information as well. This includes the location of different types of financial accounts, which is the type of information that naturally should be shared between spouses and many others involved in certain types of committed relationships.
Create a Budget
If you are in a committed relationship, if you are married, when it comes to earning and spending money, you must stop flying by the seat of your pants. You need to create, and then follow, a meaningful budget with your spouse or significant other.
By budgeting, and following a budget, you have an improved chance of avoiding money issues on a regular basis. In fact, by avoiding financial problems, you permit yourself to be in an improved position to avoid a major source of tension and marital discord.
Compare Family Histories
How the families of you and your spouse, or significant other, handled money can provide at least some insights into what to expect when it comes to you and your partner. By understanding the financial practices each of you were around as a child, both you and your spouse will have keener ideas of how your counterparts react to financial issues.
Don’t Make Financial Transactions Behind Each Other’s Back
An outgrowth of a number of the suggestions set forth already in this piece is that you should never engage in financial transactions behind the back of a spouse or significant other. You cannot be dismissive of the possibility of this type of deception in a marriage or other intimate relationship. Nonetheless, by recognizing the possibility that this type of deceptive practice is fairly commonplace, and not beyond the realm of possibility in any relationship, you can be better on guard to protect against it.
Joint and Separate Accounts
There is nothing inherently inappropriate with the partners to a marriage or other committed relationship in maintaining both joint and separate financial accounts. The key to preventing discord is for the parties to be honest about separate accounts. You absolutely must not be deceptive about the existence of sole accounts. Nor should you be dishonest about the balance of these accounts. This includes both investment and associated accounts as well a credit ones and loans. This does not mean you need to micromanage appropriately constituted separate accounts. But, sharing information about them with regularity is an appropriate tactic to employ.
If you and your spouse, or significant other, believe that tension is developing regarding financial matters, marriage counseling is not necessarily the next step. The exception would be if your marriage, or relationship is experiencing z number of different problems.
If you feel tension surrounding finances increasing, an early step you can take to nip financial issues from becoming worse is to seek financial counseling. There are financial counselors available that can assist you with everything from developing a meaningful budget to debt management. In addition, these financial counselors can assist you and your significant other in developing strategies to assist you in working together to appropriately manage your finances.