3 Tips to Keep Money from Ruining Your Marriage

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Don't Let Money Ruin Your Relationship

Don't Let Money Ruin Your Relationship

Ah, spring! Love is in the air and wedding season is upon us. Whether you’re moving into a serious relationship, about to walk down the aisle or have been married for a long time, there’s no time like the present to make one important vow to your honey: I will not allow money to come between us.

The more you and your mate fight about money issues, the higher your risk of divorce, according to The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. In fact, conflicts over money predicts divorce better than any other kind of disagreement. That’s because arguments about money tend to last longer, are considered significant to couples and often spur more hostile fighting tactics, like yelling or hitting.

You can prevent money from messing up your relationship, however, by talking openly, honestly and regularly about your financial situation with your spouse, deciding together how you’d like to manage your money, working toward common goals and committing to not allowing disagreements over green ruin your marriage.

It’s time to have the money talk. Here are three important money topics to cover:

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1. Talk about how much you have and how much you owe.

How much you have and how much you owe can weigh heavily on a marriage. In fact, newlywed couples who take on substantial debt become less happy in their marriages over time than couples with little or no debt, according to The National Marriage Project.

Assets, on the other hand – or cash, investments, retirement funds and a home – appear to strengthen the bonds of a couple and decrease the likelihood of divorce, according to The Project.

It’s important to learn about your partner’s assets and debts – and the earlier, the better. After all, you’re in this together. Talk about your hopes for your future – Would you like to travel? Buy a new home? Retire early? Finding out how much you and your spouse have together can help you determine what you need to achieve your goals. And planning that journey can be a bonding experience in and of itself.

It’s also wise to discuss your debts openly and honesty. Don’t pass judgment – Instead, look at your combined debt load as a goal you can work toward together. Make a plan to pay off your debt so you can live without this burden weighing on your relationship.

2. Find out your partner’s credit score and credit history.

Credit reports and scores may seem about as unromantic as sweat socks and beer, but they can actually provide you with a good barometer of your partner’s borrowing habits. After all, their purpose is to provide creditors and lenders with an idea of how responsible you are with repaying debt.

Before you head down the aisle, have the credit chat. The last thing you want to happen is to find out just how financially irresponsible your partner is on your wedding day (video: Wedding Day Repo).

When it comes to money, much of the strife couples face has to do with incompatible financial styles. If you’re a saver and he’s a spender, you’re bound to butt heads. But by learning early on how you manage things like credit and debt, and deciding where you’re willing to compromise and work together, you may avert conflict later.

Make a date with your mate to review your credit report and score together. To take a peek at your credit report and credit score for free, no gimmicks, no strings attached, head to Quizzle.com.

3. Figure out how you want to manage household finances.

 

It’s okay if you’re not a financial whiz and your spouse is. There are still ways you can – and should – contribute to your joint household finances. Commit to sitting down with your significant other regularly to do bills together. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Feeling like you’re in the dark on something as important as money isn’t healthy for your relationship. Learn up and offer to contribute.

It’s also important to figure out if you and your spouse are going to divide and conquer, or go in together. For example, depending on your needs and individual goals, you may choose to have individual accounts. Perhaps you want to surprise your hubby with a vacation and you don’t want all the extra money you’re socking away to give you away. Individual accounts for “extras” may be okay, but it’s not usually wise to keep your special fund a secret. Discuss your accounts and assets – and what you’d like to combine or keep separate.

There are a lot of issues that will come up during the course of your marriage. Some of them you can prepare for, some of them you can’t. That’s why it’s important to be open and honest with your partner – whether it’s with money or anything else. By talking about the things that you know could potentially cause conflict, you’re more likely to conquer them before they ever become problems.

[Check Your Credit: Don’t Guess. Know.® Get your free credit report and score. No credit card required.

For more money-saving tips and tools, check out Quizzle.com, where you’ll find out your potential for credit improvement and get the most affordable credit monitoring on the web.

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