Managing Money in Your Marriage
Managing Money in Your Marriage

10 Ways to Manage Your Money for a Happy Marriage

Did you think managing money in your marriage would be a breeze, or were you unprepared for the uncomfortable, sometimes awkward conversations you’d have about how to spend your money?

It’s easy to feel wary about sharing money, but the earlier you and your spouse take financial advice, the happier you will be.

Whether you're newlywed or have been married for decades, there is always time to start learning how to manage your money. It will contribute to your emotional, physical, and mental well-being and banish stress from your happy marriage.

Don’t let spending and saving start to weigh you down.

These are the 10 best pieces of financial advice on how to manage your money in marriage.

1. Talk about Debt

In a financial survey, 68% of couples said they would rather reveal how much they weigh than discuss how much money they had in their savings. Yikes!

This statistic shows exactly how squeamish couples can be about their money. But a happy marriage is all about open and honest communication, which means discussing your finances. It may be uncomfortable initially, but you'll be pleased that you opened the door to your financial futures together as a couple.

Don’t let talking about debts be something shameful or embarrassing. Instead, consider it an opportunity to come together as a couple and banish stressful debts for good.

2. Discuss Your Shared Income

Marriage financial advice 101 will tell you that in order to have a successful financial future together, you must discuss your shared income. How much money are you each bringing in every month? Knowing the answer to this question will help you create a working budget together.

It's important to be honest about your income. This may feel embarrassing, especially if your spouse makes substantially more than you do, but it's important to have accurate information going forward.

3. Find a Plan that Works

One of the first financial advice tips to follow is to create a plan for shared expenses.

How will you be managing your money as a couple? Will you have one bank account, keep separate banking details, or create a new shared account that both will be put into for communal expenses? There is no right or wrong answer, and there are benefits to each way of doing things.

Sit down as a couple and discuss which method will most benefit your circumstances.

4. Bring Up Touchy Subjects Gently

A happy marriage is built by showing your spouse love and respect regularly.

Since studies show that the topic of finances is one of the most repetitive and salient arguments between married couples, it's best to sweeten any talk of money matters with honey.

If you feel your spouse is overspending, don't start yelling at or accusing them. Instead, discuss the matter calmly and how you can do better as a couple in your monthly savings vs. spending.

5. Create a Budget that You Agree On

One of the best pieces of financial advice you can ever follow as a married couple is to create a monthly budget. Start by making a list of your monthly total of shared income.

Next, write out a list of everything you owe at each month. Include your bills, rent/mortgage, children's expenses, debt repayment, groceries, gas, insurance, medical, taxes (if your job does not put these away for you), and other vital expenses.

Once you've completed your lists, you can review and determine if you need to eliminate or reduce any unnecessary items on your list. If you are making more than you are spending, you are doing great! If you are spending more money than you're bringing in, this will quickly put you in debt.

A well-planned budget should leave you with extra money at the end of every month to devote to your savings.

6. Remember that You are a Team

Remember that you are a team. You may be two people coming from two very different places (financially) in your lives, but as a married couple, you are now partners in all things, including your financial futures.

Be encouraging and upbuilding about paying off debts, discuss your financial strengths and weaknesses, and work together to reach your goals.

7. Have a Financial Marriage Check-In

Communicate regularly with your partner. This will help you maintain a balanced view of money. Speak openly about your budgeting, spending, saving, and debt situations.

Have a monthly financial check-in where you sit down together once a month and review how well you did on your budgeting/spending/saving. This can be incredibly useful in accounting for how well you are doing financially and looking for areas to improve.

8. Save for the Future

One brilliant piece of financial advice for couples is creating a savings account. It's never too soon to start thinking about the future of your happy marriage. Why? Many people put money away to:
  • Start a family
  • Save for a dream vacation
  • Buy a house/car
  • Prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters, sickness, loss of job
  • Save for retirement
  • Plan for home renovations
Having a nest egg set aside for any of these expenses can take a great amount of stress off of your marriage.

9. Learn from Your Spouse

You can learn many things from how your spouse handles their finances. Instead of being intimidated by their great credit score or ability to save a quarter of their income every month, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to better your financial habits.

10. Share your Responsibilities

A happy marriage is a partnership.

You and your spouse are on the same side. Therefore, it's beneficial for both to share in financial responsibilities.

This is true even where only one partner is earning income. For example, both spouses should be responsible for budgeting, paying bills, and making big financial decisions.

Sharing your responsibilities helps keep both spouses on the same page about money coming in and out of the house and ensuring nobody is left in the dark.