There are many issues married couples must deal with that singles don’t experience and they aren’t simple issues to solve. When you slip that ring onto your finger, it’s no longer all about ‘me,’ it’s all about ‘us.’ Unfortunately, many newlyweds aren’t truly ready for that level of commitment, so they learn as they go. Whether you’re learning as you go, you’re doing well or you’re preparing for marriage, Dailyfinance.comadvises that you avoid these financial blunders in marriage.
1. Not creating and sticking to a budget
If you hear the word ‘budget’ and cringe, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Still, if you’re married, it’s absolutely necessary to budget in order to keep fights down to a minimum and to maintain one’s sanity. When your wife buys N124, 000 worth of clothing in one day because you don’t work a budget together, and you get mad at her, how do you think she’s going to feel? After all, if that’s how she has always spent money, why should she do anything different? Perhaps she should have had the wisdom to ask you first before making such a large purchase, but it may not have even crossed her mind that N124 000 is a lot of money to spend on clothing in one day at least. She had no clue that it was a lot of money to you.
Budgets keep both spouses on the same page regarding what should be spent and what should not be spent (and on what money should be spent on). As you start to budget together, you’ll find that many times having a budget frees you to spend money freely without hesitation because it’s in the budget.
2. Not communicating regularly about financial goals
Now, budgeting in a marriage lends itself to having a higher degree of communication about money, but it doesn’t necessarily help all the way. That’s where communicating regularly about financial goals comes into play. In fact, when you’re creating your budget, you should also be budgeting for large purchases you may want to make.
If you’re not communicating with your spouse about what you want your lives to look like in 10, 20 or 30 years, what you’re really doing is leaving your future completely up to chance or up to whoever has the strongest will. Instead, talk about the future regularly and dream together about your goals and ambitions.
3. Maintaining debt because of a lack of contentment
There are a number of circumstances when incurring debt might be a reasonable option. There also might be circumstances when keeping debt around temporarily is reasonable as well. However, if you’re increasing your debt as a couple because of your lack of contentment (when you really should be content with what you have), there’s a problem.
This financial blunder can have devastating effects on a marriage. Why strain your marriage over debt when you don’t have to have debt? Instead, find contentment. Don’t become materialistic.
4. Keeping separate bank accounts
If you’re going to be working a budget together as you should, why keep your bank accounts separate? There should be no secrets in marriage. If you’re married, you should definitely have joint bank accounts. This will also put more pressure on both of you to work together toward your shared goals.
5. Not having an emergency fund
Emergency funds play a critical role in financial plans. Should something happen to you, your spouse, your children, or your property, your emergency fund should help offset the financial losses.
6. Keeping important business decisions private
Your spouse should be involved in all aspects of your life not just your personal life. If you’re planning on taking out a loan for your business for example, you should definitely talk with your spouse first. Talk with your spouse about your important business decisions before you make them.
7. Not forgiving financial mistakes
Yes! This, too is a financial blunder. When you first get on a budget together, do you really think you’re both going to abide by it with perfection? Hardly. It’s going to take some time to adjust to the new rules.
So when your spouse makes a mistake, don’t make the mistake of not forgiving their error. Don’t hold these things against them. Intentional deviation deserves a serious conversation (still with forgiveness), but unintentional mistakes deserve a try-harder-next-time-and-no-worries sentiment (along with forgiveness).