Money permeates almost every sphere of life, including love and marriage. As a married couple, how much money you have does not matter as much as how you use it. To put it into perspective, there are many poor but happy couples and just as many rich and miserable couples. It would be a shame to let money get in the way of your love and marriage. As such, there are several mistakes you should always look out for and avoid. Here is a look at ten money mistakes to avoid as a married couple.
Prioritizing money over relationship
It is true that money makes life easier, but true happiness comes from the companionship of your loved ones. Unfortunately, many couples do not realize this but instead put too much focus on amassing wealth and money in a bid to lead a ‘comfortable’ life. Consequently, their misguided priorities eventually place a strain on their relationships as the lose focus of the most important thing for their marriage: time and concern for each other. Wealth is certainly desirable, but it would hardly be enjoyable without the company of your better half.
Not taking about finances
It is important to have a mutual plan for your finances since money is a prominent part of marriage. Although you and your spouse may share many characteristics, how you earn and spend your money may differ greatly. This results in conflicting interests, and it may leave your marriage in financial disarray. As such, you should have regular talks about what to do with the family money, and perhaps also about personal expenditure.
Hiding debt and expenditure
Since money is such a sensitive issue in marriage, many people are usually reluctant about talking to their spouses about big expenditures and unplanned debts for fear of the latter’s reaction. However, the result is usually worse than just an angry reaction as it not only contributes to greater financial instability but also nurtures mistrust.
Marriage is binding on many levels, and it is always advisable to consult your spouse before making huge purchases or taking on debt. However, if this happens, then you should talk to your spouse about it to make the necessary accommodations, as a couple.
Not sharing financial planning responsibilities
It is the traditional assumption that men are responsible for financial planning and investment while women take care of daily household expenditures. However, this is not applicable in the modern world especially when each spouse contributes to the family’s finances. On one hand, the man may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility while, on the other hand, the woman may feel left out. As such, it is important to make financial plans together to ensure that they suit you both.
Not having separate bank accounts
You may share some characteristics as a married couple, but every individual has unique spending habits. To this end, separate bank accounts are just as important as a joint bank account for married couples. Besides, it is illogical to put all your eggs in one basket per say, and everyone, married or not, deserves some financial freedom. A personal bank account will not only cater for the urge to have some money of your own, but it will also prevent conflict of interest in expenditure.
Not saving for retirement and old age
It is interesting how little thought people give to old age, especially married couples. It becomes difficult to work and make a living once old age sets in, but many couples seem not to realize this. To this end, married couples who do not save for retirement often have to rely on the support of their friends and family members once they grow old, and this places great strain not only on their marriage but their social lives as well.
Old age as a married couple can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how well you prepare for it. By saving for retirement, you and your spouse can have a lot of time and peace of mind to enjoy each other’s company.
Living above your means
Marriage is very demanding especially in terms of lifestyle. For instance, it becomes necessary to own a house and all sorts of furniture and appliances. This often forces many married couples to take debts in a bid to meet these needs, which results in financial instability and hardships many months and even years after. And, unfortunately, these seemingly pressing needs are not always necessary, and they offer little comfort in times of financial hardships.
As such, it is important to live within your limits and work toward achieving your goals instead of rushing things. After all, peace of mind is much more comforting than a big house or any other material possessions.
Lending or borrowing from family members
Although the extended family is a vital part of every relationship, it is also always advisable to keep a healthy distance. To this end, it is never a good idea to borrow or lend large sums of money to family members. This is because, in the case of lending, family members may easily leverage their relationships with either spouse to defer on payment. If this happens, then the other spouse may feel discontented, and it may lead to arguments and even long-term mistrust. Borrowing from family members, on the other hands, invites them to become more involved in your marriage.
Not enjoying your money together
Although it is important to save and spend money wisely, it nevertheless does not hurt to have fun spending some of it. In fact, it is very helpful for married couples to enjoy their money as it maintains the sparkle in every relationship. For instances, married couples who eat out or go for drinks together once in a while enjoy happier and longer marriages compared to those that settle into the mundane marriage life. Remember, you only get to live once, and nothing counts as much as fun and happiness.
Not sharing ownership of valuable possessions
Trust is an important aspect of marriage, but so is sharing too. As a couple, you ought to trust each other with everything. However, not all marriages last, and it is always important to have some security in case this ever happens. As such, it pays to share ownership of valuable possessions such as the house, jewelry, and investments.