Whether you’ve been married four years or 40 years, money can be a touchy subject to discuss with your spouse. It can lead to some serious tension and frequent arguments, making finding a middle ground seem almost impossible to achieve. To aid in your money discussion, we've got some tips you can follow to keep tempers calm and the topic on track.
Focus on common financial goals: Do you want to accumulate wealth by investing in property, stocks, retirement funds, etc.? Do you want to be out of debt by a certain age or date? Do you want to own a home? Decide together what your financial goals are, and which among them is top priority. Then devise a plan, and begin executing it together.
Get your credit in check: If you've never checked your credit score, now is the time to do so. Find out where each of you are falling short, and work on a plan to get back on track.
If you don't have an emergency fund, start one: Regardless of what your financial state is, you need some kind of emergency fund to ease the stress of becoming financially fit. Ideally, you need three to six months’ salary saved in case of a rainy day. Sit down together and make a list of any expenses that could be reduced or eliminated, and begin adding those funds to a joint savings account.
Discuss the future of your estate: According to estate planning attorney Ann Margaret Carrozza in an article on www.foxbusiness.com, you need to have this talk after you’ve created your will. Planning this portion together will ensure that in the case of death, neither of you remarry and potentially lose all those assets in a subsequent divorce. The complexity of an estate plan will depend upon your particular needs and those of your beneficiaries, so you may even want to enlist a professional here.
Remember, it's give and take: Getting your finances on track will require a little wiggle room from both of you. While he may never understand your need to have 25 different pairs of black high heels, you may be equally as baffled by his insane model car collection. No one should have to feel like they are the only one making sacrifices, so make a list of everything each of you would be willing to give up in an effort to save money, then choose a few from each side. Click here for ways to trim your budget.
Now that you have your topics in order, grab a glass of wine and get those financial juices flowing!