Tips to Avoid Marital Issues Due to Finances
By Randi Morse
When you are in a relationship there are a large number of things that can cause tension between you and your partner. Working too often, not scheduling enough alone time, family issues -- all of these things can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship. One of the issues many couples struggle with is finances. The stress of ensuring that you have enough finances to run your household, as well as having enough money to enjoy splurging occasionally, can cause huge problems in a relationship. If you and your loved one keep fighting about finances, here are a few tips that can help curb the arguments.
Make a Monthly Budget
Sit down together and make a monthly budget. Begin by writing down how much money you generally bring in for income. Then write down every monthly bill you have, and don't forget to include a section for grocery items and for gas. You can then add up all of your expenses and subtract it from your income to see how much money you should have left at the end of the month after bills have been paid.
Watch the Schedule
One reason why couples often get in trouble with their finances is because they don't remember when specific bills are due. There are a lot of great apps and programs that you can use to help keep track of when each of your bills are due. Some banks, or credit unions, have online bill pay which will give you a countdown so that you know when each bill needs to be paid. If both of you have access to this information it makes it easier for you both to ensure there is enough money in the bank to pay the bills.
Together or Separate
Finally, you need to decide if you want to have your income grouped together or separate. Some couples like to pool their income to pay bills from while others prefer to have their own bank account and to either pay half of the bills or to be responsible for only certain bills. Either option can work as long as you both agree on how you want to handle your finances. Sit down together, discuss both options and write out an agreement. For example, my husband and I pay bills from a joint account but we also have an agreement that if we want to purchase anything over $50 (as long as it's not a gift) we need to pass it by the other person first. The most important thing when it comes to finances in a relationship is to keep communication about money and bills open, honest, and polite.
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