Financial Advice Married Couples May Not Want To Hear
It is nothing new that disagreements over finances are one of the main reasons couples end up in divorce court. Financial advice is readily available, but married couples are still fighting over money. Why? For a variety of reasons, couples appear not to want to hear sound financial advice. Here is financial advice that married couples often ignore:
1) Create Separate Accounts And One Joint Account?
“Should we create a joint bank account or have separate accounts?” is one of the most important decisions the two of you need to make regarding your finances. Having your own money that you can spend however you want can lessen arguments about money. I disagree with the belief that having separate joint accounts lessens the sense of unity in marriage and shows a lack of trust in one another. I recommend never to have a joint account you’re your spouse, as you can always write two cheques for half the money needed – from each account……..
2) Track How You Are Spending Money
It’s called a budget. Tracking your spending is not a way to point fingers at one another as to who is spending what. Tracking your spending is not having someone looking over your shoulder every time you buy something. Tracking your spending is critical to being financially secure. Unless you know where your money is going, it is impossible to set financial targets never mind financial goals you are both comfortable with.
3) Set Your Financial Priorities Together
Know what is important about money for each of you. One of you may want to buy a house while the other thinks saving for your retirement is more important. Seeking the help of a qualified Independent Financial Adviser can help you set your priorities and still spend money on some fun things like a vacation now and then.
4) Discuss Finances Together On A Regular Basis
Sure, communicating with your spouse about finances isn’t easy because money can symbolise different things to each partner. One may view money as security and the other as power. If the topic of debt, bills, savings, and goals makes one or both of you uncomfortable or defensive; seek the help of an Independent Financial Adviser. It is important that both of you know where you stand financially and have common financial targets and goals.
5) Save 10% Of Your Income For Retirement
Couples living month-to-month often rationalise that they just don’t have enough money to save. Make the decision to save at least 10% of your NET income BEFORE you pay for anything else. After saving enough cash as an emergency fund (at least three months’ living expenses), invest in a Pension. The earlier the two of you start saving money for your retirement years, the easier it will be – “pay yourself first” so you achieve a retirement lifestyle that you both hope for.
6) Handle Debt As A Couple
Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse’s debt isn’t your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.
7) Try To Live Debt Free
Couples often don’t want to wait to have a new television, new car, and other new gadgets. They rationalise that people just don’t live without credit cards and debt. Although it may be true that many people are heavily in debt, that doesn’t mean it is a healthy way to handle your finances. It may be simplistic to say it, but if you don’t have any credit cards, you can’t spend what you don’t have! Think of them as “Debt” cards not “Credit” cards, and just keep ONE card for emergencies.
8) Don’t Keep Big Financial Secrets
Not being honest about the cost of large financial purchases or keeping debts hidden is considered financial infidelity by many people. Such secrets can destroy your marriage.
9) You May Have To Face Tough Times Financially
No matter how much you plan and talk about money, no matter how much you save, no matter how frugal the two of you are, there still could be tough times and unemployment in your financial future.
10) “Making A Plan” Stops You “Planning To Fail”
Hire an Independent Financial Adviser – that’s what they are there for! After all, they are experts in financial services and who doesn’t want an expert looking after them?
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