A married couple may have many things in common, but spending habits usually aren’t one of them. A husband may not see the wife’s logic in buying a fifty-dollar bottle of facial cream, while a wife may view a husband’s purchase of a new power drill to be a complete waste of money. Luckily, a financially sound marriage is easy to have as long as a few basic tips are followed.
1. In order to have a financially sound marriage, a couple must learn the fine art of compromise. Many married individuals have a hard time adjusting their spending habits. When you are single, you can spend your money however you wish. When you are married, however, you have to accept that you cannot have everything you want. Everyone needs to splurge every now and then, but not if it places financial stress on a marriage.
2. Learn to prioritize. When the necessities are paid for, it becomes much harder to find yourself in a financial squabble with your spouse. Never spend money on frivolous items until the necessities have been taken care of.
3. Have a budget. A budget is a good way to learn financial discipline and it makes saving money easier. When things are written down, they become easier to conceptualize. It’s hard to tell where your money is going if there is no written record. Not having a household budget is like having a checking account and not being able to view your balance.
4. Live within your means. If you or your spouse have champagne taste but a beer budget, sooner or later you will find yourself in debt. Isn’t it better to upgrade to a new car after driving a clunker, or to buy a house after being a renter, instead of having your car repossessed, your home foreclosed, and your credit shot to pieces? It’s much more pleasant to climb up a ladder than to fall off of it.
5. Use credit cards for emergencies only. The best way to manage debt is to not get into debt in the first place. The easiest way to get into debt is by using credit cards carelessly. Credit cards should be saved for small or mid-priced purchases; if you buy big-ticket items with a credit card, you will be flushing hundreds of dollars down the toilet in interest.
A financially sound marriage all comes down to discipline. If you don’t spend what you don’t have, you will not have financial trouble. Of course, we are all guilty of getting into money trouble at some time or another, but if you follow the above tips 90% of the time, you and your spouse will enjoy a financially sound marriage.