To receive notifications of new posts, please join our email list.
As the weather gets nicer it means that wedding season is upon us and you are receiving your invitations in the mail. It’s always exciting to see couples come together and enter the covenant of marriage. For me, every time I attend a wedding I think of Lisa’s and my wedding four years ago. I also like to see how happy the bride and groom are on their special day. In addition to that I also know something that they don’t yet know, but will find out soon. Marriage is hard work. It’s a whole new ballgame as pretty much everything in your life changes, including how you handle your finances. One of the best things newly married couples can do with their finances is to combine “HIS” and “HERS” to “OURS”. Here are a few ways to make your finances “OURS.”
Yes, this might sound obvious, but the best way to make it “OUR” finances is to merge your life and your money. So it’s not “your” bank account or “my” bank account, it’s “our” account that we both have access to and can deposit, spend, and see where the money is going each month. It’s also not “my” income and “your” income, it’s “our” household income. Also, when you get married it’s not “your” student loan or “my” car loan, it’s “our” debt. I’m beating this to death because while this might sound pretty obvious, in reality a lot of married couples don’t combine their finances 100%. By doing that you are missing out on a great opportunity not only to communicate about your money, but to communicate in other areas of your life as well.
After you merge your finances, it’s now time to plan how you are going to spend “OUR” money. That starts by deciding on a budget that you both agree with. A budget is not one of you telling the other how much you are going to spend on groceries, eating out, or clothing. It’s agreeing on how to spend your money before the month begins and adjusting as necessary only when you both agree to. After having a budget you agree on, you now get to decide how fast you want to pay off your debt, how much you want to save for retirement, and how you will pay for future purchases including vacations and a home.
Be willing to compromise
As newlyweds will soon learn, compromise is a big part of marriage. You are going to have to compromise in every area of your life including your time, family, and especially money. The fact of the matter is that your money is finite, and you don’t get to do everything with money that you would like. But your finances will truly be “ours” when you and your spouse are able to communicate clearly and give and take with your money. That might include sacrificing a TV purchase to re-design your living room. Or it might be giving up that vacation to pay for a week-long seminar that will help your career. Whatever it is, couples that are managing money well are able to make these decisions civilly without anyone feeling resentful or left out.
After reading this you might say to yourself, “this ‘OUR’ money thing sounds like a lot of work,” and it is. But it is also worth it. Being on the same page financially will help your marriage and allow you to achieve your dreams and goals. If you’re already married and haven’t combined to “OURS” there’s still time; it’s never too late So if you want to experience peace in your marriage in the area of money, remove the “HIS” and “HERS” from your money and make it “OURS.”
How has combining money in your marriage paid off?
For more information on making it “OUR” finances check out the podcast I did on the “Love and Money” series