According to a recent study by Ameriprise, nearly 70 per cent of couples say they’re living happily ever after because of good communication with their spouse when it comes to money. However, many couples still confess they disagree over day to day money management such as personal spending limits and making major purchases. General personal spending such as eating out and entertainment as well as the purchase of big ticket items such as vacations and home renovations are some of the most common disagreements that couples have about money. Does that sound like you?
Here are three ways to live happily ever after when it comes to your spouse and your money.
How to balance saving vs. spending
One of the easiest ways to avoid disagreements about money is to maintain individual spending accounts. This is especially true if one you is a saver and the other is a spender. A lot of couples merge their finances upon marriage, but that’s not always necessary.
Maintaining separate accounts allows each spouse to spend based on their net income – which most likely varies within the couple. Tracking spending with a budgeting tool such as Mint, the Spending Tracker app or a tool offered by your financial institution, will help couples get an idea of where their money is going and make adjustments where necessary.
Discuss major spending – prior to the purchase
It’s a good idea for couples to agree on purchases before buying big ticket items such as appliances, vacations and electronics. Once you both agree, create a savings plan so you can start putting money aside together.
Talking regularly with your loved one about financial priorities is a key to living happily ever after with your money. Being open and honest about where you spend money and what you want to buy allows couples to work together to create a financial plan to make your dreams a reality.
Micro-manage your money together
To eliminate miscommunications and surprises with your bottom line, both spouses should be equally involved in managing your family finances. Many couples delegate one spouse to handle the day-to-day money management and that’s OK, but even if you don’t want to be the household CFO, it’s important to be involved in and aware of how the money is managed.
Create a family budget so both spouses are aware of your fixed household costs (these are the expenses that don’t fluctuate from month to month like insurance, utilities and mortgage payments) as well as your monthly variable costs (such as groceries, clothes and entertainment). Together, you can decide where you can cut costs and start saving towards your goals.
If you want to start the money conversation with your loved one or want to start a family budget, please contact me today to learn how I can help achieve your goals and live happily ever after with your money – and your spouse.