Realistically speaking, financial issues are going to present itself at some point and time in a marriage. This is probably true even for the filthy rich. Dealing with them as a couple can either help you grow closer together or further apart.
But think of it as an opportunity to practice money management techniques to build a more robust and financially secure future.
With that said, do you find yourself yelling at each other when financial issues pop up? Are you looking for help?
Here are some ways to truly deal with money problems in a marriage.
#1: Know your partner’s credit score
We have to put this upfront because a couple should lay this foundation ideally before marriage. But even for those who’ve recently tied the knot, it’s not too late. Let Steven Yoda, a partner with a divorce firm, tell you why.
Yoda mentioned that identifying your partner’s credit score can give you insight into their past financial decisions. Money is often a common source of stress in a marriage, so knowing your partner’s money-handling habits can go a long way.
But at this point, do you know what a credit score is?
According to the Credit Bureau Singapore, a credit score is “a number used by lenders as an indicator of how likely an individual is to repay his debts and the probability of going into default. It is an independent assessment of the individual’s risk as a credit applicant.”
Now that you’re aware of the definition, be mindful that your partner’s credit score will not affect your personal credit score. However, it can influence your credit access after marriage because the lender will consider both parties’ credit scores.
In short, a low credit score will lead to higher interest rates and fees on your credit card or loan. But if things happen to go astray…
#2: Don’t play the blame game
Even if you feel as though your partner is spending way too much on Starbucks, don’t play the blame game. That’s because there’s no end to it. Both should acknowledge the lack of finances to cover individual or family expenses as the root of the problem.
Just like any other bumps in your marriage, you should approach it as a team. Face the jarring issues together as a unit rather than dissolving into a blame game on who’s spending too much.
#3: Take the lead to communicate
When you or your partner spots a potentially money-focused storm on the horizon, schedule a time to sit down and talk. This could range from anything from reduced work hours to the desire of changing jobs.
“To minimise and prevent those issues from becoming bigger problems in your relationship it is important to start with the simple act of having conversations about money,” highlighted Maggie Reyes, a marriage mentor and life coach.
The sooner you prepare yourself for financial issues, the more well-rounded your solution is likely to be too. Panic and stress are never good companions for handling money issues, and to counter it; you want to have a plan in place before it starts spiralling downwards.
#4: Get on the same page
“Most financial issues in marriage come down to one main factor: both partners have different core values about money,” a certified counsellor explained.
First thing’s first, you need to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page about money and its value. Most of us have different understandings of the importance of money, and it takes some effort to understand where the other party is coming from as two halves of a whole.
For instance, you might be okay dealing with a little debt, but your partner may not be comfortable at the idea of it. So, if they start to see the build-up, it can be their source of severe distress.
When both partners aren’t careful in dealing with the disparity in money perspectives, this issue may burst into other areas of the relationship. Whatever those differences in values may be, it’s essential to put one into another’s shoes and find a compromise.
#5: Stop the problem from travelling
With consistent money problems, it’s easy to resent the other person and their spending habits. Perhaps you fear that they are hiding money from you and siphoning it into a secret account. Or, maybe they’ve got a personal credit card and are overspending without keeping you in the loop.
You know what? Stop your paranoia in its tracks! The moment financial problems turn into trust issues; it will impact your marriage. Have faith in your partner if you want them to return the favour.
Money, and lack of it, can make even the strongest couples weaken and crack from stress. If you approach finances with a level head and as a strong, loving duo, you can overcome those issues in time to come.
Nothing is too difficult to solve. Take heart!