What’s money got to do with marriage? Short answer, EVERYTHING. Anyone who has ever been in love knows that the euphoria may hide the elephant in the room. I have found money can be such a taboo topic, even between married couples. Here at ELP Budgeting Services, wives will often reach out to us for budgeting and money management help. They’ll end the conversation with “let me talk to my husband and see if I can get him onboard.”
I understand everything the wife is saying without her having to say a word. I was there.
Six months into our marriage, my husband and I found ourselves living paycheck to paycheck. We worked very hard and earned decent salaries, but we were stressed and discouraged. When I thought about money being the thing to come between us, I just wasn’t having it.
One Friday morning in July changed our entire lives.
As a mechanical engineer by trade, I coded up a software program to mathematically allocate our money without emotions involved. ELP Budgeting Services was born in that moment. We didn’t know it at the time. Our only concern was straightening out our own finances so our marriage was not tainted by financial stress. After a year following what are now the ELP Budgeting Services personalized monthly budgets, we launched as a company. We wanted to eliminate the stress of finances in every marriage possible, like we did for our own. The rest is history.
Here’s 5 tips to avoid money ruining your marriage:
1. Follow a Budget
A budget is simply telling your money where to go and knowing where it went before it’s spent. This is key. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Allocating the household finances ensures the bills are paid on time. It also provides a snapshot if you are living outside your means. A budget will tell on you and simultaneously be a catalyst for change.
2. Have open and constant communication
There should be no money secrets. Have conversation early on in the marriage. Disclose all debt, poor money spending habits, major purchases, etc. Get used to speaking about money even if it’s uncomfortable.
3. Be selfless
Always consider your spouse whenever making money decisions. Even if you choose to keep your money separate, how will your purchases and money habits affect your household in the future?
4. Work together
While not all couples are comfortable combining their money, at ELP Budgeting Services we have proven in our own household and with our married clients, that working together gets your further faster. Two are better than one. Two people working at financial goals together can achieve exponentially more.
5. Avoid money shaming
Never degrade a spouse for making less money or even making a financial mistake. We have ALL been there. Money shaming eliminates the ability for open and honest communication. It breaks the trust needed to work together and achieve financial goals. Always be graceful. Following a budget can completely eliminate any room for money shaming.
If you’re like my husband and I, you may have not realized how intertwined money and marriage are. Money can at times make or break happiness. Whether in a financial high or low, these tips can help married couples avoid money disagreements.
Do you and your spouse need help getting financially organized? ELP Budgeting Services monthly budgeting programs can help. We’ve helped countless married couples experience peace in their finances. Let’s talk about it.