Couples in love tend to zero in on the fact that their relationship feels like it's made in heaven but when you're ready to take it the next step you have to recognize that you are on earth. So, we encourage you to continue inhabiting cloud nine but also to take note that you're joining the values and styles of two different people.
Money differences cause one of the most difficult challenges to any relationship. Start your new relationship by learning to talk about money in a way that values your individual needs and also honors what is important to your spouse. Practicing the skill of communication is a lifelong commitment and getting started right away will be worth it!
Discuss your saving and spending habits -- most people assume that their partner wants the same thing that they want, but many times that's not the case. Don't worry, it's OK. Communication is the key to incorporating different values and priorities into your financial plans when two become one.
During the next year, what do we want to accomplish with our money? How can we establish a plan for goals like buying a home and having children? How can we also have money to budget for things such as weekend trips, summer vacations and attending concerts?
Since life together means planning ours, yours and mine, some people plan by first considering individual needs and then considering joint needs. Other people start with joint needs and then consider their personal needs. Either way, remember not to try changing the other person. Here are tips for approaching financial conversations and what you should discuss.
Decide which of you will be the systems keeper. Which of you is better at taking care of bill paying, record keeping and other tasks related to money management? If both of you are proficient at the tasks, take turns. If neither of you would do a good job, find help to establish a good system and then trade off doing it. There is no reason to pay late fees and high interest charges that result in a black mark on your credit. The only pay out there is extra stress on your marriage.
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