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Financial tips to keep in mind for a happy marriage

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 Financial tips to keep in mind for a happy marriage (Photo: iStock)

I'm going to give you one minute to guess what the number one cause of marriage break-ups and divorces is.

If you answered infidelity, incompatibility, domestic violence, drug use, in-laws or lack of commitment, you are wrong.

The number one cause of marital breakdown worldwide is financial conflict. One partner may be a spender and the other more frugal. Predictably, this leads to some very uncomfortable arguments.

Talking about money in a marriage does not come naturally and this is where communication plays a very important role.

If not handled in a mature and loving way, money can cause a lot of pain. To avoid this and build a good foundation for your marriage, here are some financial tips that couples should consider for a happy marriage:

Discuss debt

It is crucial for the person who is in debt, whether it is student loans, mortgage or car loans, to make it known to their spouse. Considering the financial baggage this will bring, you need to be on the same page as to who will pay and how it will be paid to avoid sparks flying.

If you’re also about to walk down the aisle and want to impress your guests with the most memorable wedding when you can’t afford it, do not go into debt to fund it.

Open up

Are there any investments, stocks or businesses you have kept away from your partner? If you have, you are treading on dangerous waters.

Good marriages are built on trust and honesty. Money secrets can lead to unnecessary problems. Share everything related to how much income you make, your spending and down to your debts.

You may ask why this is important and it’s because when you get married you merge everything. Your assets and debts now become something you both collectively own.

Know each other’s money personality

As I mentioned earlier, knowing the type of spender you both are will play a major role. According to author of the book Money and Marriage, a lot of the fights between spouses are a clash of temperaments.

Couples need to understand how each one was raised around money, their views and spending habits. If you find it difficult to get to the bottom of it, use a money personality quiz to help you know whether you’re an amasser, hoarder or spender.

Consider a joint account

This may scare some off but listen, once you get married you become one and that includes your money too. There is no his and hers anymore.

You need to put all your money into one account and look at it as your money as a whole.

The idea of splitting bills or allocating them in an equitable manner never ends well. Resentment will start building up when one feels like they are doing more and this is where financial infidelity starts to creep in.

Children

Do you want to have children? If yes, or if you already do, reality has already dawned on you that raising children is not cheap. You must be on the same page as to how you want to raise them. This means asking questions like how many kids do you want? The schools you want them to attend down to where you will live.

This means coming up with a proper financial plan for your children that will cover every expense you may think of including Christmas gifts, toys and allowances.

When it comes to spending on kids, this can cause a rift within your marriage when one partner feels that you shouldn’t have bought a video game knowing very well it wasn’t in the budget.

Practice a system where you communicate as a team before spending and the possibility of getting your children to do chores for allowances.

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