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Marriage and Money: Sit Down Together To Plan Your Budget

By Erik Folgate

I listen to a good deal of talk radio. I usually catch some of Dave Ramsey’s radio shows and a couple of local money shows as well. One of my favorite parts about listening to talk radio is getting to tap into the lives of other people and their struggles and accomplishments with money. One of the more interesting topics is when a couple is struggling to handle their finances like a married couple. What I usually hear is one of the spouses handles all of the finances and the other just takes orders from the one who handles the money.

What I have found in my limited experience with marriage is that a budget does not work unless both spouses are working together to plan a budget and stick to it. My suggestion is to dedicate an hour every two weeks to sitting down with your spouse to discuss the budget and go over any changes or concerns about the budget and the general household finances. When it comes to the subject of marriage and money, it always comes down to communication. I remember hearing a wife talk about how she handles all of the finances, but her husband gets angry with her when she spends money one something he doesn’t agree with. Well, get off your lazy butt and get involved in the finances, buddy! You can’t rant and rave to your spouse about where the money is going if you won’t take the time to help plan where it should go.

Another thing to consider is putting your defensive personality in check before starting to talk about the finances and the budget. It’s so easy to get in fights when talking about your opinions about the money. I may want $50 to go towards household stuff, but Lindzee may want $100. You can’t let these kind of discrepancies turn into world war 3 or else it will put a huge strain on other areas of your life. It’s okay to compromise on issues with the budget, because when you put your spouse’s interests above your own, then you are making healthy compromises. Remember, studies have shown that issues with money is one of the leading causes of divorces. It can make or break your marriage, so take it seriously when you two talk about what to do with your dough.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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Comments

  • Jacquelyn Hart-McCoy

    I agree wholeheartedly Shawn isn’t very money minded and didn’t want to be involved in our finances. He wanted me to take care of everything, which I didn’t mind because I enjoy it. However, he would constantly be anger with me if I told him not buy something, or not to go out. He thought I was just being controling until we sat down and looked at out money together. He then saw we didn’t have the money for extras! He is much better now, but I keep him in the financial loop. Keep writing, I’m a fan.

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