Marriage is more than just sharing the same roof together for the rest of your life. A huge chunk of it involves making plans, especially when it comes to your finances. While some couples may have no problems when it comes to managing the aspects, probably the biggest source of squabbles and countless fights will be money management. How can you learn to strike a deal and make a compromise when it comes to budgeting, especially now that you just got married and you are still making adjustments to your whole new setup?
Know each other’s money style
We all have different styles when it comes to handling money, and there is definitely a chance that you and your spouse have different ways in budgeting. For instance, you may be disciplined to the point that every centavo is accounted for and every expense is necessary and approved. Meanwhile, your partner may be a loose cannon when handling money, spending every bill with reckless abandon. If you don’t know your budgeting style, then you can take eCompareMo’s quiz to know whether you are a saver or a spender. Once you understand how your partner’s budgeting mechanism works, you can start fine-tuning your money handling style as a united front.
Find a compromise
Once you’ve identified your partner’s money handling technique, will you force him to change his ways and submit to your will? While it sounds like a good way to submit your partner to your will, it can actually start more fights than having conflicting methods. Instead of using brute force, why not strike a compromise between your styles, most especially when you have contradicting ways in handling money? For instance, you can allow your partner to shell out for his wants but you still have to remind him that you have expenses to settle. Control is unnecessary, and it will just lead to bitter fights and sleepless nights.
Have a sit-down discussion
When talking about how money flows in and out of the household, is it enough to just send text messages and a few minutes of phone calls? If you want to have a clear discussion about your finances, you need to take some time off and deal with it face-to-face. Have a sit down, review your expenses from last month, see if you can make some adjustments for the current month, and then settle your monthly bills—these are the things you need to accomplish in one sitting. After all, it’s more fun when you do things together.
Disclose your financial status
When you get married, you’re not only becoming one under the eyes of the law; everything about the two of you—heart, body, soul, and even finances—is now one and the same. If this is the case, then the next best thing you need to do about your finances is to open up to your partner and disclose everything, leaving no stone unturned. Whether it is about the increase in your current credit card bill or adjustments in your salary, spill it. After all, you’re a couple; you’re in this together.
Keep your separate accounts…separate
The moment you walked down the aisle with your spouse, you have become one thing made out of two entities. While you may have to deal with obstacles and problems at the same time, there still are things that are yours as an individual, and, in this case, your individual savings account. Why do you need to have separate accounts? For couples with different monthly income, this can work to advantage since you are able to save what is due to you. Even with your marital status, fiscal independence must still be there.
While shifting from budgeting solo to a couple can be a scary thought, you have to learn to stop worrying and love the situation. After all, you’ll be together for keeps, so might as well adjust your seatbelt and hold each other’s hand because it’s going to be bumpy ride.