5 Financial Things Every Couple Should Consider

This post is close to my heart as I just got married last month! They often say that money is one of the biggest factors of divorce, and the cause of most arguments between married couples.  My wife and I wanted to make sure we avoided being one of those ugly statistics, so we tried to work out the financial aspects of being married prior to actually being married.  Sure it tooks us a few days of sitting down and hammering out the details, and probably a few arguments in there as well, but we came up with an amicable arrangment that we are both happy and pleased with.  Allow me to give you a heads up on the five financial things that every couple should consider.

Credit cards are always looked at poorly, but in fact, they can be a positive thing.  If you are financially disciplined you can charge all of your monthly expenses to a credit card that provides reward points, and then pay it off it each month.  It’s free money for spending on things you were already going to purchase.  My advice is that you simply consolidate your credit cards as opposed to having your own, this way you can track your spend collectively.

Most of us already have bank accounts, it’s just that we have our OWN bank accounts.  The first weekend we were married, my wife and I decided that we needed to own a joint bank account.  After all, we now shared a mortgage, two car payments, student loans, etc., it only made sense that we have a central account from which to pay all of our bills.

Spending money can be a touchy subject.  Certainly one person makes more than the other, yet you still want to be fair and equitable.  The solution to how much spending money each person gets is less important than the fact that each person is happy with the solution!  Our choice was to disregard who made more than the other, and to equally share the disposable income with each other.

Do I drive a new car, a used car, or simply keep my current car?  We actually are both slaves to leasing vehicles, and during our engagment we both had to turn in our old vehicles.  This posed the question, how much do we spend on new cars?  This was a fairly simple and friendly conversation, but the important thing was that we need to agree on if we would lease, buy, used, or new.  These are decisions I’ve never thought about having to share before.

Before any happy couple decides to combine finances the first and foremost topic should be debt!  Not simply a discussion on avoiding new debt, but rather the level of debt each person is currently carrying.  It is true that there isn’t much you can do about it now, but honesty and disclosure is vital in an relationship.  Make sure you are open and honest, if you don’t have any debt that is great, however many people carry credit card debt or student loans, and it’s best to let your partner know of these financial obligations sooner than later.

 

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