As two individuals come together to start their lives together in marriage, it is important that they get on the same page. This “creates a strong foundation for a healthy, lifetime marriage.”1 Many marriages fall apart because of money related problems. Starting a marriage with the same goals and ideas about money is important for the future success and happiness in that union. Dave Ramsey, a national best-selling author and radio host on finances, gives some advice for transitioning from singles to a married couple in terms of money.
- Put It All on the Table: “Transparency is the key!”1 Explain exactly what your current financial situations are, including any and all debt you owe. Be open and honest. You should share your views on money, how you were raised and taught in terms of finances. Make sure you are kind when discussing differing views and work toward creating a shared view and goal for your financial future together.
- “Marry” Your Accounts: Once you get married; combine your money into joint accounts. “Working together from a shared account brings honesty, unity and a sense that ‘we’re in this together!’”1
- Start Budgeting Together: Meet monthly to plan your income and expenses on paper. Once you have a typical month outlined, you can make adjustments as things change.
- Make A Plan: After you have everything in the open you can work on developing your plan together. What order will you pay off your debts? What will you invest your money in? How much will you save?
- Put Your Relationship First: Always remember that “it’s just money. Your relationship is so much more important. Getting on the same page with money is extremely helpful, but it’s not the ultimate end all, be all. Just keep that in perspective when you come to the table together.”1
It’s important to keep in mind that men and women see money differently. “Men tend to take more risks and don’t save for emergencies. Men use money as a scorecard and can struggle with self-esteem when there are financial problems. Women tend to see money more as a security issue, so they will gravitate toward the rainy-day fund.”2 Now that a couple is married they both need to be involved in managing their finances.
Marvin J Ashton clearly states this point, “Management of family finances should be mutual between husband and wife in an attitude of openness and trust.”3 Dave Ramsey promises, “As you work on your money together, you will begin to change your family tree. One of your main goals in your marriage should be to pass a legacy down to your children and grandchildren.”2
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