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Common Mistakes Couples Make with Their Finances

Introduction

There’s no denying that money is one of the most common reasons why couples argue. In fact, studies have shown it is the number one reason. Many divorced couples blamed money related arguments for their split. Hence, this is certainly an issue to be taken very seriously, when beginning your journey as a married couple.


There’s no denying that money is one of the most common reasons why couples argue. In fact, studies have shown it is the number one reason. Many divorced couples blamed money related arguments for their split. Hence, this is certainly an issue to be taken very seriously, when beginning your journey as a married couple.
The thing is, couples do talk about their financial problems. So, it’s not the lack of that, as these talks are what spark the fights in the first place. Thus, talking alone is not enough. You have to pay attention to how you enter the discussion. What’s important is that you must not allow yourself to be emotional about it and try to remain objective.

After going through many common mistakes couples made, we’ve compiled some common mistakes that couples often make when it comes to money matters and provided some suggestions on how to avoid them causing a rift in your relationship.

1. Thinking that a joint account is always the best way to go for couples

When it comes to deciding how to share your finances, or whether to merge them at all, there’s really no perfect choice. Different approaches would work for different couples. You should talk about it and find out what is most comfortable for both of you. Some may want to keep their bank accounts completely separate, while some may want to pool all their money into a joint account, and then there are those who both keep separate accounts as well as a joint account.
 
If you’re a newlywed, don’t give in to that pressure to set up a joint account. It’s not a requirement for marriage. If you are comfortable, you may try opening a joint account while keeping your own separate accounts. Then as time goes by, when children and housing loans come into the picture, most couples find it easier to pool all their money together. But again, this is subject to each couple. What works for one may not work for the other.

2. Blaming your partner for spending more

It’s pretty common to hear couples bickering about who spends more money. However, studies have actually shown that both men and women spend about the same amount of money, just that they way they spend it is different. In general, women spend on many small purchases while men spend on few but very large purchases.

So, there’s really no point in playing the blame game. The real problem is that both sides are spending money on a tight budget. Again, you’ll need to sit down and talk it out objectively. Understand your budget and the loans that need to be paid, then decide on how much you can spend for your daily needs, and also how much you can both set aside for those big purchases.

 Try your best to avoid giving “surprises” as well. Don’t go buying a 70-inch screen TV without first discussing it, then coming home and telling your partner that you got an unbelievable deal for it. There are reasons why you come up with budgets.

3. Pressuring your partner to settle his or her own debts 

If financial issues are the main reason for arguments among couples, then within those issues, debts are said to be the number one cause of the quarrels.
 
Whether you like it or not, when you marry someone, you marry into their debts as well. As most wedding vows would go, “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer”. So, don’t put pressure on your partner to settle their debts on their own. It’s a joint problem now and you have to be part of the solution. This does not necessarily mean that you need to fork out the money to pay off the debt, but at minimum you have to talk about the best way to settle the debts and come up with a plan.
 
At the end of the day, your partner’s debts will affect your ability to get joint credit. This is something you want to avoid, so you’ve got to pay off the debts as soon as possible, without making any late payments.

 4. Keeping secrets and telling “white lies” about money 

Some people may think that what your partner doesn’t know wouldn’t hurt them. This leads to people lying about the prices of things they’ve bought, just to avoid an argument. However, these so-called little “white lies” can end up ruining marriages. Half the time, these people are also lying to themselves, just like how we often lie about how much we’re eating, despite needing to cut down.
 
There are also instances where one half of the couple makes a major investment, be it in the stock market or in a business, without disclosing it to the other half. It’s fine if there’s a 100% guarantee the investment will see returns. But that’s not the case, as there’s risk in any investment you make. So, when a particular investment fails, resulting in losses, and everything falls apart, then you have yourself to blame for not consulting with your partner first.
 
Sometimes when it comes to these kinds of secrets and lies, you may find that you are unable to stop yourself from doing it. This is when you need to be honest with yourself and look for professional help, perhaps a therapist.

5. Not preparing an emergency plan 

You may think that you’re doing pretty alright, with a decent income and no more debts, but you should always be prepared for any unexpected circumstances. A sudden layoff, an unexpected illness or an accident, could cause you to panic and make the wrong decisions. It’s advisable that you keep 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses as emergency funds. You will feel more at ease, knowing that the money is there, in any unlikely situation.
 
You should also look at insurance or takaful plans that can help you and your partner in event of these unforeseen events that will cover income loss, disability, critical illness and medical expenses.
 
Marriage needs teamwork to overcome the hurdles that will continually crop up. Without it, the marriage will fall apart. Communicating, discussing and finalizing important decisions such as financial matters tightens the marriage bond. It shows trust and that you both are ready to sail the marriage voyage. Therefore, be smart, talk it out. If you need help to decide on financial matter, get professional help. At the end of the day, you want to be happily married.

Posted by admin on 10 April 2018

Filed under: #Married