Nothing brings tension into your married life more than talking about money. Your finances, or lack thereof, play a role in nearly every aspect of your life as a married couple: whether you will be able to buy a house, family-planning, and day-to-day expenses.
Furthermore, your finances can affect the emotional and physical aspect of your relationship. This makes it essential for you and your partner to be able to communicate about money-matters. It may be awkward at first, but when done correctly, fighting fair can actually strengthen your financial situation in your married life.
Effective budgeting is a must when it comes to financial management in marriage. We’re looking at the some of the best tips for fighting fair and how doing so can strengthen your shared financial situation.
Be Honest about Your Finances
Financial management in marriage is important, so both couples should have a good idea of the other’s finances before tying the knot. But, if you are already married, take the time to have an in-depth conversation about your financial situation.
How much do each of you make? What are your monthly bills? What do you value spending your money on? What debts do you have separately or share as a couple? These are important topics to consider in order to avoid financial relationship stress and eventual divorce.
Fight the Problem, Not your Spouse
Arguments about finances may happen for a variety of reasons. You may have different values about money depending on how you were raised and what your socioeconomic level is. You and your spouse may both have different ideas about how to spend, save, and pay off debts.
It’s easy to get caught up in an argument, but you must remember to fight the problem, not your spouse. If you have financial issues, talk to your partner about how you can get out of debt or redirect your spending, instead of using your disagreement as an opportunity to attack one another.
Be Willing to Compromise
When it comes to married life, compromise is important to showing respect and resolving issues. The point of a compromise is to reach a satisfying conclusion by way of both sides making a concession during an argument or disagreement.
Imagine that you are a saver and would rather live frugally and invest your extra money into your savings account, whereas your partner financially lives in the moment and enjoys using their finances to have a night out.
If you want your partner to be happy, you must be willing to meet them halfway about your finances. Set a budget that benefits both of you, perhaps where part of your extra earnings can go into savings, but a portion is also set aside for date nights and dinners.
Benefits of Fighting Fair on your Finances and in your Marriage
1. Relieves Stress
Bottling up your feelings, especially about your finances, can build stress and anxiety in your relationship. It’s no secret that money is one of the biggest topics that couples fight about, whether it’s needing more of it or spending too much. These financial woes may even lead a couple to divorce.
One study reveals that on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, going through a divorce was rated as the second most stressful experience an individual can go through.
By allowing yourself to be open and honest with your spouse about your financial situation, you will relieve stress and help prevent serious financial arguments in the future.
2. Strengthens Communication
It’s hard to talk about money, so when you and your spouse share your financial points of view with one another, you strengthen your communication and your relationship.
By talking to one another regularly about your finances and learning what kind of spender your spouse is, you’ll be able to understand your differences better and identify the best way to communicate with each other. Thereby avoiding financial stresses that lead to divorce and strengthening your ability to talk with one another about important issues.
3. Saves Money
In one research group of divorced couples, 36.7% of them cited financial problems as a strong factor that led to their marital separation. Piling debts and the stress that comes with it can lead many couples to divorce. Not only is this an emotionally devastating time, it is also a financially taxing experience.
Many studies show that divorce can have an adverse effect on a person’s financial, emotional, and physical well-being.
The division of property can also cause financial stress to your pocketbook post-divorce. During your divorce you will have to consider your marital assets, meaning you may lose your vehicle, home, life insurance, and may have to split life insurance policies, artwork or collectables, retirement plans, and other properties.
If you have children, this will be another area of your divorce that will be given financial attention. According to the United States Census Bureau, yearly child support costs are estimated at $5,160 or more, or $430 per month in payments. While this is your responsibility as a parent, it can also be a financial strain when you are no longer in a household being supported by a two-person income.
With fees from your divorce lawyers, a lengthy trial process, and the separating of assets, it is estimated that the average cost of divorce in the United States ranges anywhere from $15,000 – $20,000. But resolving your financial issues can help prevent this costly divorce.
By working through your financial difficulties you will not only correct your financial paths, you will also save your marriage and boost your relationship-satisfaction for years to come.
Don’t let arguments about financial management in marriage disturb your happily married life. Talking about money with your spouse shouldn’t be a tense or uncomfortable subject. By learning to fight fair you will promote healthy communication, strengthen your trust and commitment to one another, and improve the finances in your relationship.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.