Are you keen to have a financially happy marriage?
As a couple, it’s good to have dreams of a prosperous future together. These dreams may involve buying your dream home, achieving personal and financial goals, or enjoying a comfortable retirement. However, making these dreams a reality often requires effective communication, goal setting and financial management. Read on to discover my steps for a financially happy marriage – you’ll be glad that you did!
Money plays a crucial role in everyone’s lives, and navigating your finances successfully together is essential for the long-term happiness and stability of your relationship. Yet, discussing money can be challenging and emotionally charged.
If you haven’t already had open discussions about your finances with your partner, don’t worry; it’s never too late to start. My husband and I were married for 18 years before we got on the same financial page. However, I highly recommend you don’t wait that long to start talking about money!
In this blog, I will explore the importance of open and honest communication about money within your marriage.
I will delve into the significance of sharing financial secrets, creating and embracing a budget, aligning investment approaches and ensuring that your wills and legal documents are up to date. I will also share why I believe that insurance is a good idea.
Step 1: Sharing Financial Secrets – Building Trust
Openly sharing your financial secrets with your partner is crucial for building trust in your marriage. When both of you commit to transparency, it lays a strong foundation for a successful partnership. Let’s explore why this is crucial:
Trust and Transparency
Trust is vital for any healthy relationship. Sharing financial secrets demonstrates your commitment to transparency, which is essential for building and maintaining trust with your spouse.
Unpleasant financial surprises can create stress and rock your relationship. Unknown debt, hidden credit cards, store cards and expensive impulse buys can bring much anxiety and stress when they are eventually discovered.
I highly recommend that you are both open and honest in regard to talking about your finances, before you get married.
Sharing all financial information reduces the likelihood of unexpected financial challenges and stress that can put an unnecessary strain on your relationship.
Concealing debts can lead to severe financial consequences. Sharing this information allows both of you to develop a plan for managing and eliminating debt together. When you are both aware of the situation, you can work together and hold each other accountable.
Joint Financial Goals
Sharing your financial secrets enables you to set common objectives, whether it’s saving for a house, planning for retirement, or paying off debt. When you both work together on your goals, you are stronger and it’s much more fun than trying to get there on your own!
Step 2 – Creating and Embracing a Budget – Managing Finances Together
Effective financial management as a couple requires a well-structured budget that reflects your combined financial reality. Let’s explore the importance of creating and embracing a budget:
It took us years to sit down together and start budgeting. I always share with my clients how much I wish I’d known how much budgeting would have a positive effect on our finances.
By having a monthly budget meeting, (I suggest you sit down together around payday), you are able to tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went! It ensures that both individuals actively participate in managing household finances and making informed decisions.
Creating a budget encourages financial responsibility for both partners, it gives you permission to be accountable to each other and encourage each other. However, be warned, there are times when you need to show grace and patience with each other too!
If you need help getting your spouse on board with budgeting, then be sure to read my blog and get on the same finacial page.
Common Financial Goals
A shared budget allows you to allocate resources towards common financial goals, such as saving for a home, funding education, or building a comfortable retirement nest egg.
Even if one partner earns more, a budget helps determine fair and equitable contributions to household expenses and savings. It ensures that both partners contribute to their fullest potential, including maximising retirement account contributions and taking advantage of employer matching benefits.
Flexibility and Adaptation
The word budget has negative connotations, however a budget doesn’t mean that you are constricted. It doesn’t mean that you can’t spend any money! A budget offers flexibility and adaptability. You can adjust your spending and savings based on changing circumstances, such as unexpected expenses or income fluctuations.
If you are just starting your financial journey, then why don’t you invest in my super simple, Excel Spreadsheet? It will help you to make a start and it’s really easy to use!
Step 3 – Aligning Investment Approaches – Navigating Financial Differences
You may have different attitudes towards money and investing but that’s ok, one view isn’t right, you probably have different views because of your different backgrounds.
To have a financially happy marriage, it is essential to talk about your differences as you plan your financial future together and try to find common ground.
Let’s explore the significance of aligning investment approaches:
Different financial styles can complement each other. One partner’s willingness to take on more risk for potential higher returns may balance the other partner’s preference for a conservative approach. This diversity can lead to a well-rounded investment strategy.
Openly discussing your investment preferences and risk tolerance is crucial. It ensures that both partners are on the same page, and investment decisions align with your shared financial goals.
Learning from Mistakes
Mistakes in financial decisions or investments can happen, whether as a couple or individually. For a financially happy marriage, it is important to learn from these experiences, avoid blame, and move forward together. Mistakes can provide valuable lessons for future financial decisions.
Step 4 – Taxes for Couples – Navigating Joint Financial Responsibilities
Couples often face unique tax considerations and opportunities. Understanding these tax implications can help you make informed financial decisions and optimise your tax situation. Let’s explore the importance of addressing taxes for couples:
In the UK, there is a Married Couple’s Allowance. It could reduce your tax bill by between £401 and £1,037.50 a year. For more information, visit the UK Government website.
Updating Wills and Legal Documents – Adapting to Life Changes
Life is dynamic, and changes can impact your financial situation and goals. Regularly reviewing and updating your wills and legal documents is essential to ensure they align with your current circumstances and wishes. Let’s explore the importance of keeping these documents up to date:
Flexibility in Planning
Updating your wills and legal documents allows you to adapt to new jobs, expenses, family additions, or other life changes. It ensures that your financial plans remain relevant and effective.
Setting a date or financial milestones for reviewing these documents can help you stay on top of your financial planning. Whether it’s an annual review or specific triggers like reaching a certain savings threshold, regular updates are essential.
Protecting Your Legacy
By updating your wills and legal documents, you protect your legacy and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. It provides peace of mind for both of you, knowing that your financial affairs are in order.
Step 5 – Insurances
You need insurance because things happen. From time to time, losses and misfortunes occur. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but for peace of mind, you need to know that you’ll be ok financially.
We have life insurance with our friends at Cura. They are based in the UK but can offer many forms of insurance to people world wide. They are also known for insuring the insurable! So if you think you can’t be insured – for whatever reason – give them a call as they maybe able to help!
We took life insurance because we wanted to know that if anything happened to us, the remaining family would be able to manage financially. We didn’t want them to worry about finances while grieving over our passing.
In conclusion, open communication about money within your relationship is the key to a financially happy marriage.
Being open and honest with one another fosters trust and transparency, creating a strong foundation for your partnership.
Creating and embracing a budget allows you to manage your finances together, allocate resources to shared goals, and ensure financial responsibility.
Aligning investment approaches acknowledges the diversity in your financial styles and promotes effective financial planning.
Navigating taxes for couples optimises your tax situation and enhances your overall financial strategy.
Updating wills and legal documents adapts your financial plans to life changes, protecting your legacy and ensuring your financial affairs are in order.
Should the worst situation happen, then having insurances to cover the unexpected can really help to avoid financial stress.
Remember, a financially happy marriage is built on a solid foundation of trust, open communication, and shared financial goals.
By addressing these key aspects of financial communication, you can work towards a prosperous and harmonious financial future together.
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Hi, I’m Karen, I am a blogger and finance coach. My speciality is helping couples get on the same financial page and win with money and marriage.