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How to Keep Financial Harmony in Your Marriage

financial harmonyWhat’s the best way to achieve financial harmony in a marriage?

When two people get married, they don’t only join their lives together, but also their money. If differences in money attitudes and practices are not addressed early on, people can become set in their ways, making it more difficult to overcome any disagreements. However, where there is love, there are also ways to heal the financial divide.

 Find shared values and purpose

Couples need to come together with a shared vision of their future based on joint values. If they share a mission and purpose, their decisions will have greater clarity and conviction and it should be easier to maintain financial harmony. Shared goals can provide the motivation to spend/save according to an agreed-upon plan.

 Create a plan

At the core of any successful enterprise – be it a business or marriage – is a spending plan or budget. With shared goals and purpose, couples can better prioritize their spending and find it easier to agree on financial decisions. Budgets should be created as a couple and tracked together monthly.

Keep separate finances

When finances are merged, it can sometimes lead to a struggle for control. Make sure that money doesn’t become a power issue. While both partners don’t need to balance the checkbook or pay the bills, everyone needs to be happy with the division of labor.

Making joint spending/saving decisions is important. However, not every financial decision needs to be approved by your spouse. Allowing some individual control over a personal spending budget can go a long way to relieving the stress of having to account for every shekel spent as a couple. Decide on an amount where each person can spend without having to “check in” with the other.

For an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of maintaining a shared savings account, read my blog.

Communicate!

As with any other issue in marriage, open and honest communication is the key to finding financial harmony. Couples who make time to discuss money issues regularly usually achieve a financial consensus.

 

Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, investment advisor, is the co-author with Grandmaster Susan Polgar of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing and director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd., which specializes in helping people meet their financial goals through asset allocation and financial planning.

Profile Perspectives is a personal finance blog based on articles Doug Goldstein, CFP®, director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd., published in The Jerusalem Post. The information posted is purely informational and does not constitute investment or tax advice. Advertisements on the site are neither endorsements nor recommendations. Consult your professional advisors before making any investments based on articles or advertisements. Securities offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., member of FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. Accounts carried by Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

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