Married couples often fight about money — who’s earning it and who’s spending it. With economic turmoil and more bankruptcies and foreclosures than ever, everyone needs to get a handle on their finances. If you are asking “Where did the money go?” or constantly arguing with your spouse about money concerns, the following tips may help.
Order you credit reports
When establishing your monthly budget, you need to know exactly how much you owe. Get a copy of your credit reports online from all three credit bureaus at myfico.com. Make a spreadsheet with all the debt that you owe to get a handle on your monthly obligations. If you are past due on any accounts, call your creditors and see if you can negotiate your late charges and a lower interest rate.
Clarify your financial goals
Together with your partner, figure out what you want to accomplish this year. Do you want to get out of debt? Save for retirement? Start a vacation fund? Put away money for your child’s college? Write out your detailed goals and then start making a plan to accomplish them.
Set a budget
Set a monthly budget and account for every dollar. Keep your checkbook recorded and balanced at all times. Try to spend cash rather than charge on any credit cards for the next 90 days. You can download free budget forms and find a multitude of information about budgeting, investing, insurance and all other money matters at daveramsey.com.
Pay three times the minimum
When creating your budget, aim to pay three times the minimum payment to each creditor (other than your mortgage) every month. This will help you pay down your bills much faster.
If one of you is a spender and the other a saver in the relationship, communicate about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. By accounting for every dollar coming in and out of your home, you’ll be able to always have a handle on your money situation and they’ll be no reason to argue.
Get a financial planner
You don’t need to be rich to have a financial planner. If you need help to establish a budget and a savings plan, contact a financial professional to help you get on track. At cfp.net, you can find a local certified financial planner in your area.
In the heat of an argument it’s easy to get worked up and wonder to yourself what you ever saw in him. Dont’ let yourself get to that point — instead, take a tip from SheKnows Love Expert, Dr. Noelle Nelson. She advises us to build a love nest egg. Not the money kind (although that is a good idea) but the love kind. Find out what she means!