Top 5 money management tips for couples

Top 5 money management tips for couples
With open communication, you and your spouse can lay the groundwork for a conflict-free and more rewarding financial journey together.

dubai - Financial secrets, hiding debt and spending frivolously are some of the most common reasons that lead to arguments among spouses



By Ambareen Musa

Published: Sat 26 Nov 2016, 5:20 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Nov 2016, 7:23 PM

Numerous studies conducted around the world talk about how money is one of the top causes of stress and conflict among married couples. And keeping financial secrets, hiding debt and spending frivolously are some of the most common reasons that lead to arguments among spouses.

If you find yourself arguing with your partner over matters related to money, take a look at these top five money management tips for married couples.

Don't keep secrets about money
A 2014 study published by American Express - the 'American Express Spending & Saving Tracker' - revealed that 33 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women admit to hiding purchases from their partners. The study also showed that 22 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women did not disclose their existing debt to their partners.

There are no small or big lies when it comes to discussing money in a marriage. It is better to adopt a 'full disclosure policy' on all financial aspects with your spouse. This will not only help build trust on both sides, but also help you work towards your financial goals as a team.

Talk about how to align your financial goals
The study by American Express also showed that 48 per cent of couples have discussions about money less often than once a week. That's not nearly enough! And what do you do if one spouse is a spender and the other a saver? How can you meet in the middle, avoid arguing about money and still have a financially secure life as a married couple?

The best way to settle differences that arise due to mismatched financial habits is to sit down together and have a reasonable discussion. Talk about what your short and long-term financial goals are such as investments, children's education and retirement and how you plan to get there - What do you need to give up now to have financial security tomorrow? Which expenses are frivolous and which are the ones that motivate you to keep going?

Build a budget and track it together
The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney study conducted in 2014 sheds light on the most troubling financial issues among married couples. While 76 per cent worry about planning for future financial needs, 62 per cent stress over covering day-to-day financial expenses. But guess what? You can tackle both problems with just one simple solution - budgeting.

In a marriage, it's important for both husband and wife to design a budget together, so you have joint goals instead of individual ones. And even more important is to follow and track it regularly.

Make debt repayment a shared goal
The study by Allianz also showed that debt is one of the top causes of stress in marriages, with 56 per cent of the spouses surveyed admittedly worried about getting out of debt.

If you have a student loan from before you got married, or any other type of debt, be open about your current debt situation with your partner. Also, make sure you don't take on additional debt without the knowledge of your spouse. This will not only lead to mistrust in the relationship, but can also make you fall deeper into the debt trap, to hide what you owe. The best way to deal with debt in a relationship is to stop playing the blame game, and work as a team towards becoming debt-free sooner.

Celebrate financial victories together
It's so important to cheer each other on your journey towards building a financially secure household. So, if your spouse exceeds the saving goal in your monthly budget, or finds a great affordable deal to help you plan the family vacation next year, make sure you acknowledge their efforts and appreciate them.

No matter what your current financial situation is, with open communication, transparency and an objective approach towards money, you and your spouse can lay the groundwork for a conflict-free and more rewarding financial journey together.

The writer is the founder and chief executive officer of Souqalmal.com. Views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect the newspaper's policy.


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