Conflict around financial planning and spending can be one of the biggest causes of marital problems today. What makes this a challenging aspect of a life together is that it’s quantifiable and therefore difficult for both partners to agree upon.
Here we offer some tips to consider before the big day.
Past and Present
No matter how long you’ve been together or how much you trust each other, it’s a good idea to sit down and discuss financial histories. Perhaps student loans, that new or second-hand car, or a business debt is still unpaid. It’s better to have a handle on these financial realities before discussing spending needs in the future.
It is also helpful to understand patterns of past spending. Do you like to splurge every so often? Is a foreign holiday something you want once a year? Do you prefer to save on some things, but spend big on others? Figuring out where money has gone in the past can help inform your planning later on.
Separate or Together?
A practical question couples face is whether they’re happy with separate or joint bank accounts. What will best suit your needs?
Many find that if both are employed then two accounts are better than one. That way you have a pool of money for individual use. However, if you go down the road of a joint account, finding out how to keep a track of and manage this single balance is of utmost importance as well as deciding who will take responsibility for this important task.
For many, working off a budget is a handy way to plan weekly and monthly expenditure. However, others sometimes feel this is too constrictive and like to leave some more wiggle room. What’s important in this situation will differ from couple to couple, but should be discussed when planning financially.
There are so many scenarios and preferences to list when it comes to a secure and manageable financial future. But if you both nail down some concrete financial goals i.e. what’s most worthy of your separate or joint spending, then this can eliminate marital hurdles later on.