No one is perfect, and in even the happiest relationships, people make mistakes. The most common mistakes couples make involve money. Finances can be stressful for you and your partner. Avoiding these five mistakes will help make life better for both of you.
1. Not talking about money. You may remember listening to your parents argue about money and think to yourself, that will never be me. Many couples make the mistake of not talking to each other about finances, which only gets them into a worse place later. Take time to talk about finances, and plan to do it on a regular basis. This will help your communication and make it easier to budget.
Also read: How Can I Help My Husband to Be More Frugal?
2. Putting one person in charge of all the bills. Many couples put only one person in charge of paying the bills. Sometimes couples think, one person earning the money and the other cutting the check is a good split. It is not. Sit down together to pay the bills and budget for the coming month. It keeps you both on the same page and it is the perfect time to talk about finances.
3. Keeping money secrets or thinking your spouses’ debt is not your problem. Once you are a couple, your money problems and debt are a shared issue. If you have problems with compulsive buying, let your partner know. You’ll be surprised at the sympathy, as most people have something they always give into, even if it is just a chocolate bar at the checkout line. If he or she has debt, you need to know, and both of you need to fix it. If you both want your names on the mortgage, secret debt will sneak up on you fast.
4. Not setting ground rules for money. How much to spend on the weekend? How much to spend during the week for lunches, the kids’ allowances, or savings? What do you do with bonuses? If you sit down and think about it, there are lots of little money decisions each of you make. Setting ground rules for even the simplest money decisions will help you save money and not encounter surprises later.
Also read: 7 Secrets to Frugal Family Fun
5. Not planning for the future (and emergencies). Sometime we think we do not make enough money to set aside for emergencies and the future. Other times, we think that it is not for us to worry about. We are healthy. We drive safely. We are young and retirement is decades away. Not planning now will only cause undue stress and arguments when something does happen. You can always thin your budget to save money, so talk about ways to do it.
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