Having a spouse changes many things in your life: your living arrangements, your weekend plans, your career trajectory, and how you handle finances. This last one can be quite a sticking point for couples as they work to figure out what their finances will look like. Luckily, the right tools can make the process much easier.
Learn How Each of You Feel About Money
Your attitude toward money comes from the examples your parents and others set for you. One of you might be a saver while the other is a spender. One of you might have a fiscally responsible family while the other’s family is always asking for loans. Ask key questions to determine where each of you comes from on this issue, and decide together how to approach the answers.
This is where many couples get in trouble. One brings home a big screen TV or area rug without consulting the other first, and a shouting match results. To avoid this, agree that you’ll make big purchases together. Set a schedule for these purchases; for instance, you have to save up for six months before you buy a new couch or three months before you buy an area rug.
Find a Financial Counselor
Some couples are highly incompatible when it comes to finances. Others find themselves continually in debt no matter how hard they try or are afraid to spend money because they grew up scrimping and saving. If your problems run deeper than normal, reach out to a financial counselor for help. He or she can guide you through the best way to handle money considering your history, habits, and other factors.