Money may not buy happiness, but it can ruin a marriage since couples who argue over finances are found to be at a higher risk of divorce. In fact, studies show that couples who argue over debt at least once a month may increase their risk of divorce by up to 40 percent
Your time is precious. So instead of wasting it arguing over who forgot to pay this or who shouldn’t have spent money on that, take the time to speak about your finances. Here are 3 tips to help get you started.
Don’t Keep Financial Secrets
Believe it or not, there’s a 20 percent chance your partner has spent $500 or more without telling you. Couples unintentionally create financial secrets simply because partners do not always share the same views on spending and budgeting. Start opening up with a small conversation on what constitutes a big purchase. If your significant other was a business partner, what would you want to know?
Are there outstanding bills you’ve been neglecting to pay? What about your partner? If you make an effort to be more open about your spending habits, your partner will likely do the same.
Make Paying Off Debt a Joint Effort
Did you know the average U.S. household stands on nearly $16,000 worth of debt? You don’t need to feel ashamed about your debt. And you definitely don’t need to feel like you need to handle it yourself. Be open about your finances and try to make paying off debt a team effort.
The right debt management plan may help you and your partner reduce your outstanding payments and the time it takes to pay them off. Best of all, your plan can be tailored to suit both you and your partner’s individual debts.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Instead of spending your time blaming each other for your debts, make a plan to tackle them together. Set a budget, create spending charts and work towards getting your marital finances in order.
Need help creating a budget? Microsoft Office has plenty of great (and free!) budgeting templates out there. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Personal Budget Template: Make keeping track of your savings, spends and debts a little easier with this all-inclusive budgeting tool.
- Credit Card Template: Keep a close eye on all of your credit cards and see how changes in interest rates affect your payments.
- Household Organizer: Track shared expenses, input grocery lists and more using this budget. Share this with your partner, and they will never forget to pick up milk on their way home again!
Don’t let debt affect your marriage. For more information on our services, give us a call at 800-500-6489.