WOW, how time flies when you’re having fun! It’s our wedding anniversary today and I’m so excited. I honestly knew that I would marry my now husband who was once my military ball date, prom date, football game date, talent show date…just all around date….date. Each year on our anniversary I pull out my old high school year books and giggle at the comments from my friends about how they “knew” that we would be together for the rest of our lives and here we are 19 years and a lifetime to go. I also pull our our wedding photos and ask Myself what kind of hairstyles did we have back then? Hilarious.
So sweet, still tons of love and admiration for one another while dripping with consistent energy of adding to one another’s internal happiness (rule number one: You have to already be happy before marriage) *or at least that’s one thing that I learned. He makes my heart bounce and his cologne still drives me wild. (inserts a giggle and a smile)
It’s also super crazy to think about how finances have such a profound affect on your relationship/marriage. Yes, money issues still ruin marriages and are still in the top three of leading causes of divorce. If there’s not a divorce then there’s constant arguments about money and that’s no fun at all. Here’s 19 things I’ve learned about finance and marriage after our 19 years of being together. Take what you need and feel free to share with other amazing couples.
- It doesn’t matter who earns the most money. I’ve never understood why this was such a big deal and now looking back I really can’t understand it. Things change. Careers change and life happens.
- Without a doubt, someone has to have some serious personal finance skills. A household with finances left unattended will crumble at some point. Keep the earthquakes at a minimum.
- Make finances a team sport. Include the entire family. Discuss finances together on a regular basis.
- Bringing up the topic of finances in a marriage shouldn’t feel awkward. Get to the root of why this is happening, if you feel a bit uncomfy when this conversation comes up.
- There’s a lot to plan for financially when you are growing a family, it doesn’t matter if you have zero kids or five. Planning for life together should never be taken lightly.
- Being married doesn’t mean that you enjoy spending money in the same way. Figure out what makes each other tick.
- Never turn a blind eye when you see that finances aren’t going in the right direction. Refer to #2.
- Figure out how much your life costs. How much money does it take for your household to function accordingly? Do you know? Does your spouse know?
- Everything that looks and feels good for your family may not be feasible in the moment. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Don’t allow illusion to trap you.
- Identify early on in your marriage who will be responsible for writing the checks or paying the monthly bills. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a CFO of the household (Chief Financial Officer).
- Lay all debt out on the table and figure out a master plan to attack it together. Handle this as a couple. Focus on living debt free.
- You may have to face tough financial times. No matter how much you prepare, plan, or live a frugal life—LIFE still happens and unexpected things may come up. Unemployment, deaths, your parents may become ill and the list goes on and on. Do all you can to support one another on this journey.
- Avoid keeping financial secrets. Just don’t do it. Nothing good comes from this.
- It’s never too late to start working on finances together. If your relationship/marriage didn’t start out this way, take some time to practice this effort as one.
- Work toward specific financial goals together. 9 times out of 10, the things that you want for your life come with a price tag. Even if your goal is to spend more time together, this will still mean that you somehow want to work less which means that having less debt will support your efforts. Create a master plan.
- Figure out how much life insurance you need and have a will created. Another uncomfortable yet necessary topic. Prepare your family accordingly. This is a big deal.
- Have fun on this financial journey together. You will be amazed at how much you can learn and accomplish together when you communicate..communicate..communicate. Money will always be a means to an end, and part of that end is being able to accomplish your individual goals, couple goals and to nourish your relationship as a family.
- Set a few ground rules. Keep the conversation light but expect to hear from one another on financial decisions. Work together to figure out how to budget for necessities, non-essentials and overall desires for your family. You can’t spend the same money twice. Pay very close attention to what you place value on.
- Always meet in the middle. Your life together is extremely important. The less stress that comes from poor money management and respecting the affects that financial habits can have on your marriage cannot be stated enough. I know that there’s nothing sexy or romantic about talking about the strain of debt, having little to no money saved or not having enough to invest, but begin opening up to the possibilities.
- (BONUS). Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is more rich. Nothing is more real. Live life together happily and whole.
Continue to conquer life together! Cheers to another year. We’re almost 20! (dances away to Bruno Mars).