Over the last few years, bickering about money problems has been the result of 22 per cent of divorces in Canada.
It’s not uncommon for newlyweds to arrive at the alter with financial baggage from school or personal debt. It’s also not uncommon for newlyweds to have sparse savings, and factoring in the average cost of a wedding in Canada (which is roughly $30,000, honeymoon included), financial stress is prominent in a marriage before a couple even seals the deal. Ouch.
Over the last few years, bickering about money problems has been the result of 22 per cent of divorces in Canada. Here are 3 tips that we suggest could help you and your partner get around those hurdling, financial road bumps.
1. Align your financial goals
If you want a car to run smoothly with no worries, you have to make sure that each piece of it is in good condition. Akin to money in marriage, aligning your financial goals with your partner might sound easy, however if you want a peaceful ride, you have to dedicate time, honesty and a lot of communication to make sure that you’re both driving in the right direction. Discussing your money situation with each other (ex. your debts, your expectations, etc.) will ensure that you’re in sync with one another, while reducing financial friction.
Like business partners, schedule meetings with one another as frequently as needed to discuss things like savings, paying off debts and big investments.
2. Don’t keep secrets
How people react to money situations can be the reason why a lot of partners in marriage decide to lie or keep secrets from one another. However, keeping financial secrets in a marriage could do a lot of damage to your relationship. Hiding money, debt or charges could lead to distrust between two people, which could cause a lot of emotional strain. Although it’s important to always be honest with one another, it’s just as important to give your spouse some personal breathing room too. It’s not necessary to overly restrict money spending, but understanding your partner’s habits and discussing them openly will help build trust and comfort.
3. Plan for a future
The best and most exciting part of a marriage is being able to plan a future with the love of your life, and finances shouldn’t be discluded. Making goals with your spouse and working towards these goals with budgeting will have significant benefits. Setting expectations with your money and figuring out the best course of action with saving and spending will ensure that you’re both on the same page, while minimizing the risk of having to deal with turmoil down the road.
Whether you’ve been married for years, very new to the married life, or even just thinking about marriage, dealing with financial situations in a relationship is a topic that can’t be ignored. It’s very common for people to argue about money, however if it explodes into serious emotional strain, it’s time to buckle down and figure out what needs to be done to fix the situation. Compromise with your partner, set goals and ensure that you’re always being honest with one another.