In this day and age, most of us don’t marry for financial reasons, we marry for (sniff, sniff) romantic love. But while the bottom line isn’t necessarily the main reason we conjoin with a mate, financial issues in a marriage can be huge. As a matter of fact, 60% of all couples admit they regularly fight about money, according to the Credit Counseling Center.
Marriage can be tough financially, but divorce can be beyond devastating. And, by following a few tried and true suggestions, marriage can, indeed, provide financial stability for both parties. Marriage has definite fiscal advantages; here are some ways to enhance them:
Money: the Root of All Evil?
There’s an old song by Deep Purple called “Money”; one line from the song comes from an oft misquoted Bible verse: Money. . . is the root of all evil, today. . . “What the verse actually says is “The love of money is the root of all evil.” In other words, money itself isn’t the problem; giving it more credence than we should, is. Similarly, experts say that a lack of money doesn’t break up relationships; not communicating about money is the true culprit.
Communication is the beginning of financial solvency in marriage, but there are other activities that can help a couple maintain material stases as well.
Experts say that people who deal with problems proactively are much happier than those who merely let life happen to them. In a marriage, proactively dealing with matters such as saving, spending, and investing add to the strength of the marriage.
Scott and Cindy T. took control of their money situation by agreeing to pay their bills with cash only. That means that the agreed upon, budgeted amount for groceries (or entertainment, lunch money, etc) was easier to track. “If our allowance for lunches was met, then we would take a lunch from home until the next month.” Setting up the budget and discussing how to implement it strengthened the relationship.
Treat Marriage as a Partnership
While this notion isn’t particularly romantic, your spouse is your business partner. And, as such, your home is your “business.” This means that it deserves as much planning, budgeting and care as the fiscal layout of your employer.
One of the ways to enhance the partnership is to set financial goals together, according to Betsey Stevenson, an assistant professor of public policy at the Univ. of PA). Stevenson, who researches economics and marriage, suggests that couples make those goals and expectations specific. And of course, doing that means that you’ve jumped the communication hurdle: if you go around it, you might find that you and your spouse have different ideas and expectations entirely.
As with most things, money is a bigger deal in a marriage if there’s difficulty than it is when things are fiscally smooth. By proactively planning and communicating finances together, a couple can enhance their financial stability; in so doing, they are putting the entire issue in proper perspective.