Transitioning from managing money on your own to budgeting with a partner can be stressful. And no matter how much you love your significant other, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you address how you’ll handle finances throughout your marriage. In fact, one study found that 50% of couples argue about money.
However, there are ways you can overcome the stress involved in managing finances in your marriage with these tips.
It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to push your differences in managing money under the rug until it builds up into an argument. Avoid that by setting a time aside monthly to discuss how you’ll manage your finances—how will you spend, save and invest. And what kind of purchases do you need to agree on together before swiping your card.
You’ll want to discuss the future too. You might be on the same page on saving for a house and investing in your 401(k), but what are your opinions on finances when it comes to having children? If you’re planning on growing a family, discuss how you would allocate for daycare, activities and even further down the road: college. This will help you understand each other from the start.
Establish Trust in One Another
A recent Money Crashers study found that 89% of people haven’t lied to their partner about money. That statistic alone can help you see how common honesty is when it comes to money.
Lose your skeptics and give your partner the trust they deserve. If they see that you’re willing to trust them, you’ll get the same in return.
Set a Budget (and Stick to It)
It’s one thing to set a budget for yourself, but you’re held much more accountable when you’re sticking to a budget in a relationship. Express how much you’d like to spend on necessities, on fun, and how much you’d like to save per month. Be open to that percentage your partner proposes, too.
It’s possible that the cost of your lifestyle may differ from your partner, but that’s OK. Meet in the middle and write down your plan. As weeks pass, if you feel like there are changes that need to be made, adjust it together.
Remember, You’re a Team
Your love for each other brought you together. Having different opinions from each other is normal, but it’s important to remember that you’re both on the same team. You’re working to build a life together. Even if you don’t agree on finances, be open minded and try to understand from their point of view.
Consider Changing Your Habits
Part of discussing your finances together means you must both compromise. Maybe your partner doesn’t agree with your budget of $300 per month on clothing. You can justify why you spend that amount, but also consider why they may have hesitations. Can you meet them in the middle and spend $150 per month on clothing instead?
Managing your finances as a team doesn’t come naturally, but being honest, open, and consistent will put you on the path to less stress and more teamwork.
Sarah Archer’s Biography:
Sarah is a results-driven marketing manager and writer with expertise in leading content strategy and PR across diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not investigating personal finance strategies or travel rewards hacks, you’ll most likely find her outdoors hiking, biking or running.