The single most significant contributor to divorce is financial stress. Every serious academic study done on the topic has led to the same conclusion. While many other life events can have equally detrimental effects on a marriage, none can compare to the prevalence presented by financial distress.
It is something that can take hold of anyone and ruin their marriage if they are not cautious. Proper communication before your wedding day is essential to make sure you and your partner start your wedding on the same page.
Tips to Help Manage the Unification of Your Finances
Merging your finances with another person is just one of your life’s many aspects that will quickly become intertwined with your spouse’s after you finish tying the knot.
Proper financial planning can prevent a lot of headaches and potential fights between you and your spouse. It is much better to address any concerns either of you having head-on together.
● Track Total Combined Assets and Liabilities
Everything that your spouse owns becomes yours once you form a union through marriage. The same is true of your assets becoming theirs. This is a net win for both of you. The flip side is also true. All of the debts and liabilities of your spouse also become your burden. Also, your own will become theirs as well.
It does no one any good to deny the truth of these statements. Communicate with your partner and make sure each of you fully understand the overall financial picture will be after you are married.
● Household Monthly Budgeting
Before you can know where to cut costs you first need to set a budget for monthly priories such as rent, MD gas prices, food, internet, transportation costs, childcare if you have children, etc. Once you have budgeted for your monthly expenses you can work together to think of ways to cut monthly costs, like planning only to go out to eat once a week, making your coffee at home, or investing in smart home products to help keep utility costs down.
● Set Some Common Goals Together
One of the surest ways to test the possibility of a marriage will be successful is to check and see if the husband-and-wife share financial goals. Their goals do not need to be identical, but if they are opposites, then the marriage will not work. One of the partners will end up compromising, often resentfully.
Sit down with your partner before deciding to get married and hash out some rough plans for financial future together.
It should not be too difficult for you to determine whether you are even on the same page with your partner. As long as you guys are reading the same book, everything should be fine.
Honesty is Key
If you have some information regarding your finances you are ashamed of and do not want to tell your partner, it is an understandable feeling.
However, lying to your partner about anything is not a good sign of a healthy marriage. Honesty is one of the essential parts of open communication with your spouse, and without it, the marriage will never last.
It would be better for you to learn how to work through difficult things together by communicating early on rather than waiting until things reach a boiling point.
Rules of Thumb to Live By
There are many general rules of thumb that you can live by whenever you plan a financial life with a partner. The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that they are someone whom you love.
Love is not controlling, and even if you have specific ideas on how things should be done, your partner also deserves their voice.
George is the CEO of Expat Group Limited, based in Hong Kong.