Money mistakes are easy to make after marriage. It is a brand new chapter in your life and you want to start it on a happy note. You make several adjustments to live with your spouse under one roof. Communication may not be clear and direct at this point of time. Moreover, money is not at all a romantic subject, especially when you don't have lots of it, which is mostly the case for the newly wed couples.
Money mistakes are poisonous. They can lead to nasty arguments and financial disasters. The good news is that, a small bit of awareness can help you save marriage and money at the same time. If your spouse is a spender and you're a saver, then arguments are likely to happen. Don't get flustered or panicked. Just be cool and use the following tips to avoid arguments and protect spouse from making money mistakes.
- Don't let your spouse handle all kinds of bills: Take some financial responsibility on your own. It would be good for your marriage, specially if your spouse is a spender. Handle credit card bills, utility bills, medical bills, etc. If your spouse is spending too much on credit cards, you'd automatically know about it from the bills. You can ask your spouse to reduce expenditures.
- Make your spouse understand the importance of saving: Just because you understand the value of saving money, it isn't necessary that your spouse would understand as well. For instance, your wife's motto is to “live today and forget about future”. She just loves to shop every weekend and is not bothered about savings. In this case, you need to be patient and explain her about the importance of saving with real life instances. Don't stop her from shopping. Just encourage her to buy the necessary items. Discuss about your future goals. Make her understand that it'd be difficult to achieve long term goals without saving money.
- Don't shout at your spouse and start a fight: Don't shout if your spouse has purchased something you don't approve. Behave like mature adults. If you don't like something, tell that to your spouse politely. Make sure you state the reason as well. Avoid fights since that would close the room for discussion. Your spouse may start hiding things and end up making a bigger financial mistake. You may not even come to know about it until it is too late.
- Set up a spending limit after discussion: The best way to avoid lying and making mistake is to set up a spending limit. For instance, both of you can spend up to $300 without discussing with each other. However, if any of you decide to spend more than this amount on something, then consult each other first.
- Inform your spouse how much you make: This may seem to be weird, but the truth is, a lot of people don't know how much their spouse makes every month. This is a major mistake. It is important to let your spouse know about your monthly income. Otherwise, he/she would have no idea about how much to spend and save every month. It is like living a life without any direction. He/she may end up investing a lot of money without having any idea about your affordability.
If your spouse is shy and doesn't ask about your income, then it is your responsibility to discuss about it. Don't be ashamed if your monthly income is not too high. Your spouse deserves to know the truth for the sake of a better financial future.
- Check your spouse's bank statements: Check both of your bank statements from time to time. This will serve twin purpose. Firstly, you'll know if your spouse is spending beyond his/her means. Secondly, you can find out if the bank is imposing any strange charges upon both of you.
If your spouse is spending more and as a result there is no savings in the bank, then it's high time you've a fruitful discussion with him/her. This may help your spouse to realize his/her mistake before jeopardizing finances.
- Don't give mental support for wrong reasons: Never give mental support to your spouse for the wrong reasons. Suppose, your spouse is completely fed up with his/her current job. Your spouse doesn't have a healthy working relationship with his/her boss and intends to quit job quickly.
Stress can force people make wrong decisions. If your spouse is having problems with his/her boss, then offer tips to solve the issue. Don't support his/her decision to leave the job suddenly. This will have a bad impact upon the family's financial health. Your spouse's savings wouldn't last forever. Moreover, it may take a lot of time for your spouse to get another job too. What will he/she do till then? Who will pay for the household expenses? You can bear all the expenses only up to a certain point of time, but not after that.
One big money mistake can create a severe damage to your spouse's financial health. It can break his career too. So, if you really love and care about your spouse, then stop him/her from making costly financial mistakes before it is too late. Follow the above mentioned tips to have a blissful marital and financial life.