Something that concerns all of us is money. The reasons are obvious. We live in a world, for the most part, that you can’t live without money. But when it comes to money we all have our own set of beliefs on it, whether wrong or right. How much do we spend? How do we spend it? When do we spend it? What if I make more? So, with our individual set of beliefs, how do we infuse those ideals of money and marriage?
We will provide some answers and close with a clip of Steve Harvey on handling money in marriage.
HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND?
How much you spend does not only depend on how much you make, but also on what your joint goals as a couple are. When you’re married, you can’t spend your money as you use to when you were single. Otherwise, you’d stay single. When you and your spouse agreed to love one another until death do you part, you inherently agreed to communicate with each other about your spending.
The reason why is because most likely you have financial goals that you want to achieve together. It’s important to be in tune with how much you’re spending to stay on track to reach those financial goals. Otherwise you will burden your spouse with the weight of having to make up for your excessive spending so that you both can meet that goal. And that’s not fair. It’s only right that if you want to reap in the fall that you sow in the winter. Do your part and be mindful of your spending.
If you’re an excessive spender and your spouse is not, you need to have a money and marriage discussion before marriage. You both need to set expectations of each other before you walk down the aisle. If you don’t, you’ll be having a conversation that would have been more manageable if expectations were set beforehand.
WHAT IF I MAKE MORE?
If you make more that should not be a problem. It should be a good thing. The more you make, the more you can do for your family or better prepare for the family that you will build together. All egos need to be set aside if your spouse makes more money than you.
If you make more money don’t use that as a tool to dominate your spouse, but use it as a way to do more for the good and stability of your marriage and family. It’s strongly discouraged to tell your spouse that you’re in charge because you make more. That is a sure way to create resentment. If you find things to be unfair, that you’re contributing more because you make more, be happy that you have more to contribute. Look at it as a blessing and not a curse, because it’s a blessing.
Perhaps your spouse does not make as much as you but your spouse sure does so many other things. Look at the good in your spouse. That person is likely very aware that you make more and is appreciative of that and shows it by doing and taking care of things that you don’t even have to worry about. Think about it. Reflect on it and you’ll see that we’re correct. Maybe the spouse that makes less, does more with the children. Does more around the house. Keeps up with the lawn or garden. Keeps the car(s) clean. Shovels the driveway, etc.
Don’t mitigate the contribution of your spouse because they make less than you. Making a house a home requires so much more than your salary.
WHAT ABOUT BANK ACCOUNTS?
We feel that couples should have a joint account and they should also have their personal accounts, that only they have access to. In a perfect world, only joint accounts would suit you well. But we can agree that we don’t live in a perfect world, thus marriages aren’t perfect. As a matter of fact, many end in divorce and only after a couple of years.
That’s not said to scare anybody out of marriage, but to encourage you to be wise in your financial dealings before and in marriage. Think about it. You worked so hard to save some money before you got married. Before you even met this person that you are going to marry. It’s only fair that you have the right, and should keep that money to you. Not to say that you won’t use it for the good of the marriage, but that you do so at your discretion.
The joint account(s) are great because in them is where you will put your joint savings. You should have one for bills, emergencies, vacations, Christmas, etc. It may seem like a lot to keep up with, but once you get in the habit of funding such accounts you’ll be glad you did when those expenses come up.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from comedian and Family Feud television host, Steve Harvey (video below): Don’t let nobody sign your check, don’t let nobody have access to your money. Even if it’s your wife, you still got to watch it yourself.
Now, go forth and change the game!