3 money mistakes couples make
Communication is an important part of any relationship, and communicating about finances should be at the top of the list.
Everyone makes mistakes. And almost everyone has made mistakes when it comes to finances. Once you start sharing your life with another person, sometimes those mistakes can be magnified or more mistakes materialize. Here are some common money mistakes couples make and how you can sidestep them.
No. 1: Avoiding the topic
A reluctance to talk about money is common -- people don't generally do it in polite conversation. But discussing financial goals and potential issues with one another can empower you as a couple to make smarter decisions now and in the future.
It’s a good idea to talk about this early on, with the goal of stopping any conflict before it starts. As with any topic, you don’t necessarily have to agree on financial issues, but sharing your views, past experiences and goals about money can start a dialogue.
Ignoring money problems won’t make them go away. It’s important to acknowledge the challenges so you can create a plan to solve them.
No. 2: Not looking at all options
There are many ways for couples to handle finances. Of course, there’s completely combining finances and keeping them totally separate. But there’s a lot of gray area in between.
For example each person can have a separate account for daily spending with joint accounts for major expenses like rent or mortgage payments and vacation savings. Or you can have one of you in charge of all bills due at the end of the month and the other look after the bills due in the middle of the month. There are lots of options worth considering to determine what works for you and your spouse or partner.
When it comes to managing the money, you may have someone who does it all and another who handles other non-financial responsibilities. Or you could each handle part of your finances. You may take control of monitoring savings for example (like ensuring you are saving enough toward retirement) while your partner takes on the day-to-day budget.
No. 3: Forgetting to revisit
No matter what your arrangement, it’s important to discuss it periodically to determine if the current system is working or needs changing.
There are certain times in life when one of you may be too busy to take on some of these financial roles (back at school or going through a stressful time at work) and the other person will take the lead. But that doesn’t mean it always has to stay that way. If one of you feels left out of the decision-making, this could lead to hurt feelings or resentment.
One way to avoid this is to talk over your financial plan frequently. This also can help you discuss any changes to the financial situation or to your goals.
Raises and bonuses can bring an unexpected boost to your budget but they can also bring tension. One of you may assume this will be a great way to top off the emergency fund while the other will want to plan a celebratory weekend getaway. But talking about it before acting can help you both to feel involved and valued. And that’s important for not just your finances but your relationship overall.
More from Credit.com
- Credit card options for couples
- What happens to your credit when you get married?
- The best ways to loan money to friends & family
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
A Fidelity study found that adult kids and their folks aren't on the same page when it comes to discussing finances.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'