Finances are among the top reasons couples end in divorce. To avoid this, it is recommended to create a budget that works for both parties. This way both people can be held responsible and hopefully create a joint effort to work toward a common goal. Even movies display examples of finances creating stress in relationships.
EXAMPLE FROM MOVIE
I remember watching In the Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith. Even though I watched this movie years ago, I still remember a particular scene in the movie when Will Smith’s character and his wife in the movie couldn’t make rent for that month and how it put a strain on the relationship. It appeared as though the financial stress made the romance disappear. In order to proactively prevent this, couples should create a budget that works for them.
BUILD A BUDGET THAT WORKS
A budget that works can’t be one-sided. In fact, the budget should be created by both parties and not only one. This way, they can discuss the various expense categories and come up with a realistic budget that is not doomed to fail. This process will take compromise from both sides, but this way both parties can be held responsible. Make sure to even include a fun-money category in the budget as this will help increase the odds of staying on budget. There is a saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Basically, if all the money goes to pay bills, it’s easy to get off track as you are working hard and not having any fun along the way. Some couples have even admitted to having a budget and common short-term and long-term goals has actually brought them closer together as they are now working as a team. If the two parties do however decide to let one person manage the finances, make sure that at least both parties are aware.
BOTH PARTIES NEED TO BE AWARE
Who handles the finances in your relationship? If you would ask this same question a few generations back, the typical answer would be the man. Since women typically live longer than men do, what happens after the husband passes away? You guessed it – the woman is left helpless and unaware how to financially manage her life. Don’t let this happen to you! This among other reasons is why it’s important for both parties to be aware of their personal finances.
It’s important for couples to be on the same page with their finances. It can be a great experience to achieve short-term and long-term goals with your partner, this can even make the relationship stronger.
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For more posts about Couples & Money see Relationships and Money Roundup.