They say that when you find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, you just know. But just because you think you found “the one” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think twice before you combine your finances.
Budgeting discrepancies are one of the most common arguments couples have, regardless if they have been together five, ten or twenty years. We lay out a few tips to get the conversation started so that you can merge your finances together and live happily ever after.
1. Make Goals You Both Can AchieveYou will have an entire lifetime of milestones together. But with finances, it’s best to start small and decide on financial goals you both can agree on before dreaming up your new home. Create a budget and celebrate small achievements. Be sure to acknowledge when goals are met and not just when set-backs are brought on by your partner. If you’re able to reach a savings goal together, do something special to celebrate.
2. Be open and honest about your spendingJust as you would be truthful about anything else in your relationship, being honest with your spouse about spending is paramount to a relationship’s success. You may not need to run every expense by your significant other, but when challenges arise, it’s much better to handle the problem in the early stages and with your partner’s support, than it is to try to go it alone and lose your partner’s trust.
3. Explore Different PossibilitiesWhile opening joint accounts might seem like the obvious step when merging money, when you and your significant other have a large gap between your credit scores, it may not be the best option. A little known piece of advice; marriage impacts your credit score only if the two decide to open joint lines of credit. Consider adding one of you to the other’s existing credit card as an authorized user if you and your spouse want to share a line of credit.
You two have your whole life together. Fighting over finances shouldn’t be something you have to face if you both can decide on goals you can achieve, communicate about finances openly and be open to solutions for any of life’s financial challenges.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.