Especially with today's tough economic times, money is tighter than normal for most.
It's not hard to see why money can pose a big problem in your relationship.
Your world at times can revolve around it.
It affects your pyramid of basic needs from food to shelter to even self worth.
Tips to try: Pay the Bills Together Include your spouse when it comes to paying bills.
After all she is supposed to be your better half and if she was included in the process, it can produce four positive outcomes: oLimit arguments about how much you have available oTrack where the money is being spent oCreate inclusion to help tackle the problem as a team oCurve your spending habits What you may find is that by including your spouse you will be able to tackle your finances, avoid arguments about money, and tackle the problem as a team.
You will both be aware of your finances and your areas of responsibility.
Those minor individual purchases will often curve as you realize you have a responsibility to one another.
50/50 & Joint Accounts Many men have the urge to create a wall of "what's yours is yours and what's mine is mine.
" As men, we look at it from a rational perspective and try and justify it using the reason that you perhaps make more money than she does or you spend less, or even require less than she does, therefore you should keep separate accounts.
This may be the downfall for many relationships and a huge mistake to do so.
If you are getting married or newly married, you should combine it all into one family pot.
If you're supposed to be 'one' in marriage, you may want to approach it that way.
Have joint accounts where all of your resources go.
If you have a bigger savings and your afraid she will spend it down talk about these types of concerns before you go ahead and do this.
The fact is when you're married, if you get a divorce she is going to get half of it anyways unless you have a prenuptial, so why build up paper thin walls? It is easier to monitor your financial situation when combining accounts.
You both live in the same house, share the same utility bills, and even her loans are sadly now your loans when you get married.
If you have shared responsibility, you should share your resources.
Save Rule of thumb in your household before you pay out any bills should be to pay yourselves.
Savings is incredibly important and can take a huge strain off your marriage.
If you're not squabbling over money, then you are way ahead of most people in their relationships.
Challenge yourselves to save a percentage of money or a set amount monthly to put in the bank.
This will help you keep track of your spending habits and will allow you build a nest egg for house projects, emergencies, vacations, and long term planning for things like kids if you so choose.
Saver If you have the rare combination in your relationship where you are both savers, then congratulations don't even bother reading this section.
If you are both spenders, inevitably one of you is bound to come to the realization that your relationship is dysfunctional and you need to change your strategy.
Take the time to pin down the spender and the saver.
Most Americans today do not live a very modest lifestyle and things are purchased on a need not on a want.
Most Americans have a sense of entitlement.
If you worked hard for it and you want it, then you should get it.
This was a very difficult mold and pattern to break.
What is important is that you identify your patterns and adjust accordingly.
Assign duties to each other as this may help to keep your relationship even keel.
Make the spender responsible for things relating to planning trips such as vacations and the saver responsible for grocery shopping, etc.
Credit Cards The key to life's happiness is no credit cards! Well...
among other things, but what I will say is it may be good to have one for emergency purchases only.
The first thing you should do is get rid of your credit card debt.
If you have more than one in your wallet, it's time to get to work on reducing them.
There is nothing worse than sleepless nights worrying about a credit card bill and the unbelievable interest rates on those things.
It takes a great deal of commitment and work to get out of them, but it can be done.
Two things that can help are contacting the credit card company and shutting it down and getting the credit card company to reduce the interest rate.
These can be done with one phone call and surprisingly there is no need to go through one of those debt reduction companies.
Remember, that a financial problem is the primary cause for divorce or separation and credit card debt is usually the primary reason for a financial problem.
Buying a House Yes you probably hear it from everyone about how financially sound it is to purchase a home.
It can be especially financially sound to purchase one in today's market.
These days you're getting tax credits, low interest rates, and housing prices cut in almost half.
This should be one of your biggest priorities.
Don't buy something for the sake of purchasing it.
Take the time and find the appropriate home to suit your needs.
You may drive the real estate agent crazy, but ultimately you need to be in love with you home.
When making your selection consider things like price and condition of course, but take into consideration the quality of the public school system, the layout of the house and how it fit our needs, and space.
The process for your spouse generally involves a visualization of raising a family and living in the home.
Do visual spot checks for plumbing, heating, roof condition, electrical, etc.
It's your job to make sure you're not going to spending the next 30 years in a money pit fixing stuff so she can fulfill your dream.
Just know that a house is a huge amount of work no matter how new it is and there will be plenty to do without having to repair things daily.
Making Big Decisions A quick way to start a fight with your wife is to go out and make a big financial decision without conferring with her about it.
No, it's not seeking permission, its talking it over.
First she needs to know why you are going to purchase that beautiful 52" Sony LCD with matching Blu-Ray player and home theater package.
You're going to be dropping some serious coin and she should be prepared for it.
If you go back to my discussion about home finances then you know I feel that home finances should be tackled as a team.
That means big purchases should be made as a team.
She is a controlling shareholder of the company known as 'home' and should be treated as such.
A big purchase without her involvement to her is disrespectful and will be met with a good deal of animosity.
And at the end of the day, don't you want to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful TV and not have to hear someone complain about it?