One of the biggest challenges faced by modern couples is finances. Getting ahead of their finances takes planning, education and consistency. Although disagreements over finances can and do come up, there are some simple steps that can keep such disagreements to a minimum so you can focus on what is really important.
Maintain Separate and Joint Accounts
A simple way to cut down down disagreements is to maintain your own accounts. Although some joint accounts will also be necessary, each spouse should have the opportunity to manage some money as they see fit.
Track the Money
Tracking income and expenditures is key to maintaining financial well-being. The easiest way to do so is to create a budget. A good budget will consider necessary bills as well as fun money and savings or investments.
The same things are not important to every couple. Some may wish to purchase a home while others may elect to rent and travel frequently. Make a plan together, taking into account what your top needs and wants are.
Talk About Money
The best way to keep the lines of communication open is to talk about money and to do so regularly. Frequent conversations can keep you on the path towards financial freedom, while also enabling you to address any issues that come up along the way.
Save Save Save
Make a savings plan and then stick to it. Although the amount of savings will vary based on income and expenses, a good rule of thumb is to look to save at least 10 percent of income.
Any debts also require planning and execution. Once debts are paid off, make it a priority to remain debt free.
Be Open and Honest
Financial secrets are a great way to ruin an otherwise-good marriage. Make sure to always be open and honest when it comes to everything, especially money. Financial problems can be dealt with, but dishonesty or lying cannot.
Plan for Bumps in the Road
Despite the best planning and strategy, things can and do come up. Unemployment, for example, can quickly change your financial picture. Plan ahead for such issues by building and maintaining an emergency fund.