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How to Discuss Finances Together in a Marriage

How to Discuss Finances Together in a Marriage

Since marriage is a joint venture it should be treated as such. Just like a business merger, both parties should be open an honest with what they bring to the table. If you have serious debt, be sure let your parter know about it so you can deal with it together.

  1. When discussing your finances you will need to discuss both income and expenses.
  2. Open a joint checking account that will be used to pay the household bills. If you have direct deposit, you both should put a proportional amount into the account each paycycle. For example, he makes $100,000/yr and she makes $50,000/yr. He should put in twice what she puts in. This ensures that the one that makes less money feels like they are contributing their fare share.
  3. List both of your monthly expenses on a sheet of paper. You each should then proportionately contribute just a little bit more than what is needed to cover your expenses into your joint checking account.
  4. If one of you already has a credit card, add your spouse and tell them not to use the card for anything other than household expenses. This way, you can track your spending and see where you can reduce your expenses if necessary.
  5. Be sure to account for groceries, gas, rent, utilities, clothes, tuition, vacation money, emergency money and potential medical expenses. You should always have 2x your monthly salary in savings at all times for emergencies.
  • Remember - It's not what you make, it's what you keep! Saving is important especially early in the marriage since you have new home expenses, baby expenses, wedding expenses, etc.
  • Get a joint savings account.
  • Money troubles have ended more than a few marriages. If you are both responsible, open and honest about money, it will make for a stronger marriage.
  • Be mindful that some people are sensitive about discussing money. To some, money means power and control and these are very volitile subjects. Handle with care.
  • It can be a difficult and uncomfortable transition going from being a single person in total control of your finances to being part of a couple. If your partner is resistant, give them time. If you can show them that you are responsible, they will eventually come around.

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