“Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one.”
Idk who said that but it’s completely true, even when it comes to your money. And at no other time in your life do people feel more obligated to pass on their safe wisdom than when you’re getting hitched.
Everybody and their uncle has a nugget of wisdom for you. I’m almost 100% positive you know most of em’. It’s typically stuff like: pay yourself first, tithe 10%, don’t spend more than you make, put something aside for a rainy day, or have a budget…on and on.
But NO ONE gives advice worth a hill of beans on managing money in your marriage!
“Love will conquer all” they said…marriage is bliss they said. 12 years in and I beg to differ…at least where money is concerned!
If we’ve learned nothing else, we have learned that it takes massive WORK and commitment to make this thang work. I remember in the beginning of our marriage, after the honeymoon period had worn off, we would have EPIC BATTLES (yes battles) about money.
Sometimes I would just sit in tears and wonder how in the world did everyone have something to say about how often we should have sex, or how to communicate, or learning which way he liked the toilet paper roll to go, or how he squeezed the toothpaste tube…but NO ONE had any effective advice on learning HOW to manage our money TOGETHER.
With that in mind it’s no wonder that money is one of the biggest marriage killers today, well and cheating of course.
The truth is, that those general money sayings given by your well meaning friends and family are valid, BUT there’s some nuggets of wisdom you need to know specifically when you get married.
The truths I’m going to share with you were learned in the school of hard knocks, in the trenches of marriages that have lasted the test of time. Gleaned from my own marriage and from those that blazed a trail before us and handed down their knowledge to my husband and I in the heat of our financial battles.
A word of caution, some of these things may seem like “duuuhhhh” or simple, but trust me when I tell ya’ they are game changers that can save your marriage when money is tearing it apart! #beentheredonethat Don’t under estimate them.
- KEEP PEOPLE OUTTA YA’ BIZNESS
Do you remember being in high school and hanging out you’re your usual crew…and there was always that one girl that one of you girlfriends hated for whatever reason?
And of course you were expected to hate her too, although you didn’t even know why, but you better or you were being disloyal lol.
Then all the sudden “hated” girl and YOUR friend are totally BFFs?!? And you’re like…”wait, say what?!?” And unfortunately you can’t get over hating “hated” girl?
Ahhhhh the good old days, when petty girl fights were all we had to worry about!
Yea, it’s exactly the same way when you are constantly blabbing to anyone who will listen about your spouse and their TERRIBLE money habits. You and him may have a fight about his addiction to car paraphernalia so you run and complain to your sister/mom/bff/coworker/random stranger all about it.
But what happens when you and hubby patch it all up???
You guessed it, your supporting party, yo’ ride or die, can’t get over it. When this happens time and time again they get to feeling some type of way about your boo thang. Before you know it, you’ve turned your support system against your partner.
This is where those well intentioned family and friends love to give advice. And to be honest, it’s always terrible advice because you’ve conditioned them to automatically support YOU no matter what your spouse does, right or wrong.
They lose the ability to be objective and keep YOU on the straight and narrow.
The truth is, all of those “concerned whispers” are little seeds that they sow in your heart…and over time they will sprout and grow into some UGLY situations that undermine the mutual trust and respect in your marriage. So don’t even go there in the first place!
No one needs to know your husband is a spender or terrible saver or whatever, that’s your business and yours alone.
Caveat! There will be times where you do need support from an outside source and that is OK. Pick one or two people that you trust to be objective no matter what and talk to them exclusively…even if that’s seeking out professional help. We’re talking foundational issues, not idle chatter.
- COMBINE ACCOUNTS
Hear me out! Marriage isn’t “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” Especially not when it comes to money. As a married couple you should strive to tackle your finances together, this includes having joint bank accounts for the bulk of your financial use.
It’s a psychological thing. When you have separate bank accounts and everyone “pays their half of the bills” or only one person has access to the funds it can lead to division, trust issues, controlling behavior, stagnant financial growth, and a lack of unity.
Because no matter how “separate” you THINK you’re maintaining your finances you will always be affected by what the other party does.
You CAN have separate accounts for yourselves to spend your own budgeted fun money, but your partner shouldn’t be barred access to your accounts and vice versa.
Of course, unless they have some crazy gambling or legit shopping addiction….then yea no. It’s ok to be realistic about who you married lol.
- PROTECT BOTH OF YOUR CREDIT SCORES/REPORTS
OMG, GIRL! Protect them things like a mo’fo’!!! This alone would have saved us from years of heartache.
Sometimes when we are constantly staring at one another from the opposites side of the battlefield we can forget that we are in it together and should be standing as one on that field.
In our ignorance we think, “uhuh not MY credit!”, and we make sure we do all the things to protect our own. This is even more important if you have a financially challenged spouse, now is not the time to batten down the hatches to protect YOUR score from THEIR financial fall out and completely ignore theirs.
You don’t want to find yourself is situations like we did. When we were first married, I had good credit and he had abysmal credit, but he made most of the money. So when we would go apply for large purchases, typically we would get denied or had super high interest rates.
Have you heard the saying, the rising tide lifts all the boats!Well it’s true, let your or his good money skills benefit one another and keep you in financial unity on a strong foundation.
Learn to master your money together!
- KEEP NO SECRETS FROM ONE ANOTHER
Lastly, but most importantly…don’t keep secrets from one another in ANY area of your marriage!
People often overlook secrecy in their finances…financial betrayal is real ya’ll and can be just as traumatic and destructive as cheating on one another.
Imagine finding out your hubby has tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, or you’re hiding a debilitating shopping addiction (when you mail packages to your mom’s house or your job so your spouse doesn’t know, yea, that’s an addiction sista girl). Or that they have a secret bank account where they’re socking away cash.
Even though you may think your behavior is harmless or isn’t directly affecting your partner, it certainly is, they just don’t know what to attribute your crazy behavior to YET.
Whether that’s from having to put up with your stressed out behavior as you try to keep up with your debt or constantly having to digest your “reasons” why more money is missing from the accounts.
Secrets and lies will always get exposed in the worst way, they can be devastating and always undermine the trust. #whatsdoneinthedark Honesty is always the best policy and transparency is key for a deeper relationship.
The truth is that managing money is already hard enough, but when you add in the union of two people, things can get exponentially complicated. You’re not only marrying the person you love, you’re also marrying their current financial situation, their money habits, and their mindset about money.
Some of the best advice we received and used in our marriage has allowed us to take money wars out of the equation. By keeping others out of your business, being open and honest about all things, and working together to maintain your bank accounts and credit reports you’ll be steps ahead of the game! #nodivorcestatisticshere
Gimme a shout out below, what is some of the best advice you’ve received on marriage and money? Worst advice?