Posts Tagged ‘spouse’
Its 2011 and there are many that recently became engaged over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and even New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You are beginning a new page in your lives when it comes to money and marriage.
Sure within the next few weeks to days you will begin planning your wedding and there will be thoughts of a wedding budget. Let me encourage you to also think about money in this regard – your individual financial behavior as a bride-to-be or groom. Are you ready or prepared to begin managing money for two people knowing that whatever you do could affect your future spouse’s credit report?
Money is and has always been a part of marriage. This is not a topic that should be avoided now only to later become a point of contention. Money in and of itself cannot do anything. Truthfully, it is how people handle money that causes stress, strife, decrease in job performance, division in families and much more.
For those of you reading this that are engaged (whether newly engaged or have been for some time), time to write the vision when it comes to your money and marriage and make it plain. If you seek premarital financial counseling, I encourage you to do two things:
1) Sign up for the Bride Groom Money Talk Tips to the left of this page.
2) Go to Brides tab and register for premarital financial counseling today. Don’t set your marriage up for failure by not having a plan when it comes to your money and marriage.
Do not get caught going into your marriage without having a financial plan for your marriage. Think about it, no one goes on a road trip without having a map – you do not plan a wedding without having some direction and without doing your research to make sure it happens the way you want it.
Same thing should be true with your money and marriage. You should not leave it to chance that once you are married it will be what it is going to be. Have direction, vision and goals for you marital finances even before you say I Do. It is a choice between marital financial success or marital financial stress and strain. You decide!
This morning on The View, Whoopi said I love the Wedding day, its the day after I have the problem with. That has been in my head all day because I believe there are many that fall into this category.
How many brides should we say are sooo excited about their wedding day and then when they return from the honeymoon its post-nuptial withdrawals? Planning their wedding, meeting with the wedding planner, caterers and such was fun and busy. Once they return from the honeymoon… its quiet.
I think so many are focused on the wedding, yet they forget to plan, prepare and prevent unnecessary issues when it comes to marriage. Plan how you want your marriage to unfold, prepare for merging money in order to prevent blowups regarding financial stress. Of course there is more to it than that, yet that is a place to start especially since there are a lot of financial challenges that can arise in the first year that really tear a marriage apart.
When newlyweds start out with marital debt, it makes it very hard to nurture and enjoy the relationship instead of arguing about the money and pointing the finger which more than likely will happen.
To prevent wedding day blues, talk with your soon to be spouse about what you want your marriage to look like, how you want the finances handled and what are mutual steps you can agree to take in order to prevent stress on the marriage.
I can remember when it was confirmed that I was carrying twins, one of the first things I did was join an online forum where I could speak with other moms carrying multiples. What a great time we had of sharing tips, resources and encouraging each other. I know from being a “wedding vendor” the same thing happens with brides.
Brides get online to do research regarding fashion, flowers and even finances. Well, it is great that you can talk with other brides and ask how do you handle this and what do you do about this. However, when it comes to finances it is sooo much more than that. Money is a crucial part of marriage that you should be discussing with your future spouse.
What do you want for your money and marriage? Only you and your groom know what the truth is regarding your finances. While you are engaged, now is the time you can observe and openly discuss how do you handle different financial situations. Trust becomes a factor. What does it really mean to trust the one you “say” you love in the area of finances? If you do not feel you can trust them, why is it? How will this affect your relationships?
I will tell you this, TRUST is essential. If you cannot trust someone then you do not have anything. Let alone trust when it comes to money. So do not deceive yourself and begin talking with your fiance. I realize talking to other brides gives you a chance to see how someone else handled it, BUT they do not know your fiance and you are learning more about him every day.
Begin talking money with your future spouse. If you need some help in how to begin the conversation get your copy today of Money Talk Before the Commitment Walk and Debt Stops at the Altar – it guides you through conversations you should have and solutions to common financial problems.
Brides and Grooms, if you are engaged and arguing about money step back and ask yourself, what are we arguing about? Let me pose these questions:
1) Are you arguing about one person overspending?
2) Is one person not paying their share of the bills?
3) Are you arguing about expenses that occurred before you became engaged?
4) Or is about the wedding expenses?
The four questions above might not even be the reason you are arguing. What you need to do is step back and begin talking about your financial situation that exist on both parties behalf. Why? If you are arguing before you get married, imagine what it is going to be like once you say “I Do.” The two of you are the same people and that will not change.
This means that both of you have to adjust your money management skills or learn how to manage money for the benefit of the marriage. Do not rush into marriage thinking that you can change each other. When it comes to money brides and grooms have to accept responsibility for their individual choices prior to becoming husbands and wives. Sure, the husbands and wives will sometimes end up dealing with the consequences of choices made by brides and grooms. What tends to help that situation is by being honest about your finances prior to saying “I Do” versus letting that spouse get blindsighted by money issues.
Remember, arguing does not solve money issues. What it does is allow people to point the blame, shop based on emotions, stop talking and much more. Do not fall into those patterns because it usually leads to more financial mistakes.
This is a “hot topic” that I continue to see needs answering. Should parents give married “GROWN” children money. Let me say upfront there are a lot of different factors and I am going to discuss them right here. Because LIFE happens and the answer can vary. Take the time to read this and decide what applies to you or what will you do when your children are grown and married.
First situation: I think it is acceptable for parents to give grown married children money if they are in an emergent situation. It was unexpected, they are not bad money managers but an unexpected sitation has happened. Also as long as the husband and wife, both know the parents gave the money. This does happen and can happen.
Second situation: Parents are loaning their adult child money without the spouse knowing it. This is primarily when the spouse is complaining to parents about their spouse. So the parents are almost taking sides and encouraging separation in money and marriage by their actions. Do not even pretend it does not happen because it does. Parents do not insert yourself in the middle of a husband and wife financial issues. They have to learn how to talk with each other (not argue) and work out their differences. You are not in their home 24/7 and are getting one side of the story.
Third situation: Grown married children are taking advantage of their parents because they know they can. There are probably a husband and wife that are bad money managers based on their own background, then they run to mom and dad to bail them out of their financial troubles because they know they can without any remorse. This in itself makes for debt situations that can tear the marriage apart. What can also end up happening in this situation is that one set of parents become a bank and the other set of parents are almost ignored because they do not open up their wallets. Either way, all of this scenario is bad.
Caution for parents: When brides and grooms get married initially, they need to learn how to rely on each other. Not run to you to bail them out at the first sign of financial stress.
Brides and grooms: Do not go to your parents and speak negatively about yout spouse and money. Once you paint a picture of negative and uncooperation, it is hard to change it back.
Brides to be: ALERT – We all know the statistics and I am going to remind you what they are:
Money is one of the top reasons for divorce
Three out of four married couples are arguing about money since the recession.
One in three marriages deal with financial infidelity
If your fiance does not pay his share of the bills that you are creating together prior to marriage, be “CAUTIOUS”. Why, let’s lay the cards on the table:
(1) Why is he not paying his share? Is it because he just does not want to?
(2) Can he not afford to? He could afford to create them with you.
(3) Is he blaming these bills on you?
This is not a time to ignore the fact that he does not want to pay his share. Is this a pattern and will this be what he does once you are married? There are clear signals that people are ignoring every day in order to walk down the aisle. Then they get divorced because of issues that arise such as money, when they did not talk about it in the first place.
Brides to be (and grooms) – pay attention to what your soon to be spouse is doing with the money prior to your getting married. Don’t just focus on the wedding plans – but look at how they are paying their own bills, are they even talking about it or being silent, what are the parents role in their bills if any and much more.
You do not want to come back from the honeymoon to discover debt beyond your imagination and have regrets. Life is to be enjoyed not dreaded.
Begin talking about money today. One way you could spark the conversation is to tell him about a financial situation that you are dealing with and see if that encourages him to open up about his own financial situation. Nothing too heavy but enough to let him know that you trust him and want to include him in decisions you are making.
Start talking before you come home to the pile of bills.
This question came in and I wanted to get the comments started. Will a marriage break up if one person is willing to work hard to clean up the debt and the other one is not? Let’s jump right in and say, no it does not have to.
First and foremost when dealing with date, prioritize the date in order from the smallest to the largest. If you are not aware of all the debt you have, then order your credit report from one of the credit bureaus so you have an accurate picture of what your credit reveals.
Then once the reports are in, sit down and tak with your spouse about the household financial situation. Make sure that when you have this talk, all minds are clear and you are both focused on your financial picture for now and the future. You cannot begin the journey, if you do not know where you as well as where do you want to end up.
The person that is working hard to clean up the debt needs to get the other person involved. They can make a chart together and establish timelines to have this debt cleaned up. It is imperative that why you are in the cleanup stage new debt is not be creating by anyone. That defeats the entire purpose and cause even more issues.
Once all the debt is cleaned up it needs to be understood by everyone in the household that new debt should not be created. Ask the other person how did they feel knowing there was debt? What steps can you both take to in order to expedite the cleaning up process. Do not turn into the solo effort on this, it is not necessary.
There are many married couples where one person in the marriage is taking care of the money and the other person has no knowledge of what is truly happening with the household finances. I like to say there is a group of people that are managing money in marriage as a solo effort.
Solo means one. Doing alone. The problem with the solo effort is that the person in this position can get into financial situations where decisions need to be made that affect both the husband and the wife, not just one person. Marriage is the relationship that you are in and have; money is a facet of the marriage. It is important that both husband and wife participate in the financial facet of the marriage. You cannot put all of the responsibility on one person and then disagree with the consequences of the choices they made.
This solo effort can wind up making the person dealing with money feel soooo low that they cannot make an informed and educated financial decision. Yet the other person in the marriage has no idea what is truly happening with the finances until it is almost too late. If your marriage falls into this solo effort, stop it from continuing on this dangerous path and begin talking with your spouse today.
Inclusion is better than exclusion. When spouses are excluded from certain things, it can affect the marriage on a long-term basis. Do not put your spouse in the position of not knowing. Remove the solo effort today and include them in the household finances. You will not have to bear the burden of a lack of finances, late pays on bills and more on your own.
A united effort is better and produces better results. Don’t put all of the responsibility on one spouse. It affects both of you.
Iknow reading that title many of you are already thinking of what grade you are. I want you to read this post and be honest with yourself. Only you know what your money and marriage is about. Take the time to read through and be determined this day to make a change.
Grade A – You and your spouse openly and honestly communicate about money in marriage weekly if not several times a week. You have mutual financial goals set and are accomplishing those goals. No one person is bearing the financial burden. You and your spouse have dealt with financial challenges and survived them together without letting the stress of the financial challenges change who you are. You have learned that your love can conquer all and you work together as a team not as opponents. There is no pointing the finger in this grade, each accepts responsibility for financial mistakes and move on to solutions. Husbands and wives in this category have discovered what works best for them joint account or separate account or a combination of both. Have taken financial classes and also helped other couples.
Grade B – You and your spouse communicate about money about twice a month. One person is managing the money and makes sure the other one is knowledgeable about the finances. The person managing the money is bearing the burden of knowing immediately about the finances and tends to stress about it before talking with the other. There have been times when the money manager has been overwhelmed with the financial challenges and managed to get it resolved without including the spouse. When the money manager is overwhelmed it is evident that the personality changes which adds more stress to the marriage. Once it is resolved, returned to natural self. Will get financial help if they feel it is necessary.
Grade C – You and your spouse are not communicating about money until an unexpected emergency happens. Then you go into panic mode and operate out of desperation. Once the emergency is solved, you return to the same behavior of not talking about money. The person that is managing the money, pays some bills and not others hoping that the spouse does not find out. There are no mutual financial goals. One person begins to feel as if there needs are not being met due to a lack of finances. Want to get help but think you cannot afford it and that leads to more financial mistakes.
Grade D – You and your spouse found out that one of you came into the marriage with existing debt and doesn’t like it one bit. Furthermore, that person is a shopper. The silent treatment has set in because emotions have taken over because they had a different expectation for their marriage relationship than what is actually happening. The spouse without debt is not even sure if they are going to stay. Every day they think about it while at work and dread coming home because it makes them mad. This spouse without the debt is being driven by emotions and does not even want to look at what could be a solution. This makes the marriage very stressful and could also lead to health problems. There are thoughts of getting out of debt but embarrassment stops you.
Grade F – There is no communication on any level about money. There is no joint account – everything is separate. Both parties place the blame on each other which leads to no resolution. They keep ending up in the vicious cycle of debt. All they see is continuous debt and say to themselves why bother, not sure if this marriage is going to last anyway. Husband and wife came to the marriage with financial baggage and things are unraveling in a fast past. While the money issues are unraveling, the husband and wife are growing father and father apart. This couple is not thinking about money and marriage issues in any way, shape or form.
This post was designed to make you evaluate your money and marriage relationship. Are you talking enough? If you would like counseling or want the financial education program I created, send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org .
Copyright ©2009 – Dr. Taffy Wagner – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation.
Are you reading this and are a bride to be or even a groom? Do you have a financial plan before you say “I Do”? The plan cannot be don’t discuss it and it will all go away. Hmmm, I wonder how many people who thought that prior to getting married are no longer married. I bet you could find some, maybe even close friends, family members or even co-workers. They may not say anything to you beforehand, but afterwards – you will get more advice than you need.
Yes, I understand completely that it is hard to talk about money. But is it harder to lose the love of your life because of financial issues that smothered the marriage to where you could no longer talk to each other? Or is it harder to be faced with losing your home because you did not speak up and get financial guidance to stop the vicious cycle of debt you were in because of a lack of knowledge? Could you literally be one phone call or email away from an answer that could turn your life around or finances around but you will not know because you are embarrassed to share that you have made financial mistakes?
At the end of the day, you are making a choice about your finances, marriage and your future. What do you want to see happen for your money and marriage? How does it happen? I can assure you, embarrassment and not taking action only causes you to remain the way you are.