Couples fighting over money issues is one of the leading causes of divorce. Learn how to divorce-proof your marriage with Derek and Carrie Olsen.
There are so many questions when it comes to marital finances. Do you combine money or keep it separate, three accounts, his, her’s, and our’s? How do you handle it if one spouse greatly out earns another? Can a spender and a saver ever learn to co-exist? We brought on a married couple who are experts in navigating this mine field.
Derek and Carrie advocate combining finances. It teaches you to work together and forces conversations you might otherwise not have about values, your past, your ultimate future goals. It can help you know your spouse in a way you might otherwise not.
Why combine your finances? Because. You. Are. Married.Tweet This
Being the higher earner may make one spouse feel more entitled to dictate how the money is spent. But who brings home more bacon can change. If you wouldn’t like having your spending scrutinized, your spouse won’t like it either and when the tables turn, they might get back at you. Not a good recipe for a happy marriage. That’s why all financial decisions must be shared and agreed to jointly.
Whether or not to sign a pre-nuptial agreement can be a big bone of contention. It certainly isn’t romantic and almost feels like you’re predicting the failure of the marriage. If this is important to you, be ready to encounter some push back. A pre-nup can also make it easier not to put the work in when problems arise. If things end, you can walk away relatively unscathed and that can take away incentive to work out the problems.
Communicating about money is the key. The earlier in the relationship you start talking about money, the easier it is to avoid problems and anger later. Waiting until you find out your spouse has been hiding thousands of dollars in credit card debt is a bad first financial conversation to have.
What can you do when you both have the same blind spot? You both love going to concerts so neither of you are going to wield the ban hammer even if it’s not in the budget. One of you will have to stand up and say no or take money from another area to cover the expense. So you went to the concert and had a great time but you’re going to have to survive on ramen for the rest of the month.
Getting divorced because of money problems is a tragedy and depressingly common. Start communicating about money as soon as things start to get serious so your family won’t end up a statistic.
Yards IPA: An India pale ale.
DerekandCarrie.com: How to have better conversations about money and marriage.
LMM Tool Box: Everything you need to manage your money.