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How You and Your Partner Can Save Money and Still Have a Relationship

Money and Relationship Problems: Money and Relationship Saving Tips for Married Couples

By Lyn Bell

It is an unfortunate fact that money is one of the major causes of stress and relationship problems for married couples. Money and relationships do not go hand in hand easily and the association requires some effort from both partners to make it work. 

Most newlyweds struggle to adjust to their new way of life together and not least of all when it comes to dealing with finances. Each of us has different spending habits not only because we are individuals but are likely to have been brought up with different money skills. This will mean making some compromises when doing the household budget. 

Here are some ideas to help make the financial part of your marriage harmonious and organized: 

1. Understand each other’s view of money matters. 

Understanding starts with acknowledging that the way that you both treat and spend money stems from how you were brought up by your parents and your own personality. For some, money offers security and needs to be protected and saved. Others like to spend and tend to be impulsive. They look at spending money as a means of rewarding themselves for their work. Then there are the thrifty that hardly ever spend, and certainly not without a lot of thought. It is easy to see how you and your partner can cause each other stress with such differing views. You need to sit down and discuss your beliefs and find a compromise. 

2. Complete a budget or money plan.

As boring as budgeting sounds it is a vital part of sorting your finances. Change the name budget to money plan if it sits more comfortably with you. Consider everything that you need to discuss when it comes to your household budget and set some rules on how you will spend your combined income on utility bills, food, mortgage, car maintenance, etc. Make sure you allow some money for each of you that you do not have to account for. That way of you each can cater to your money personality. Set time aside each month to revisit your money plan. 

3. Set financial goals. 

Setting long-term and short-term goals will help you organize your financial money plans. If you are newly weds and you are planning to have a baby soon, consider this when organizing your finances. If you are a couple nearing the age of retirement, you can make plans on where you will spend your leisure years or how you want to spend that time together. 

4. Always discuss large purchase items. 

Be aware that if you are a dominant personality you may have a tendency to over-ride the thoughts and wishes of your partner. It is up to you to be considerate and listen to your partner’s concerns. Take a little longer with the purchase process and use the time wisely by comparing other options and research the item you want to buy. Not only could the process end up saving you money with a better deal but will save your relationship from potential problems related to money. 

5. Share your money-saving skills with your partner. 

With different family backgrounds you each have something to contribute towards organizing your joints assets. Share your money-handling tactics with each other and you may be surprised at what each of you will learn. 

By following these money and relationship saving tips and by setting fair rules you will ensure that your finances are organized. Not only that, but you will become aware early on of any potential money issues before they become a problem for you and your relationship. You will have the ability to take steps to correct them as a married couple and not as a separated couple. 

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How to Rebuild Credit After Divorce or Separation

By Lyn Bell

Whatever it may seem like right now, your life is not over when you are going through a divorce or separation -- but you are likely to be in for the ride of your life. There will be bumpy roads ahead, but you have to make sure that you are able to take the challenge head on. Make sure that you are ready for the ride that is ahead and make sure you know what you need to.

You will need to think about more than just the emotional support that you need when you are going through a divorce or separation -- you also need to worry about your own finances. Firstly, you will want to have a good credit ranking so that you are ready to get on with life on your own without the extra burden of a bad rating. You need to make some wise decisions about your finances to keep your life together and on track.

Start with your credit cards and find out how to keep them in control.

Make sure that you cancel credit cards that are in both you and your ex partner's name. You will want to make sure that you terminate these as a priority so that you are not going to have any battles over charges and amounts owing. Remember that you are both responsible for any balances owing in both your names -- i.e. joint accounts. This is called joint and several liability". If you are unable to pay the debt immediately a block will be placed on the account so that neither of you can incur further debt.

Make sure that you get rid of credit cards that have the highest interest rates. You may be surprised to find that store cards can often be found in this category.

Control spending by setting up a budget. Think very carefully before you decide to use your credit cards on some of the items that you purchase. Make sure that you are in need of the purchase before you decide to make the transaction. You will want to ensure that you have the ability to pay the amount, or at the very least to pay the minimum amount.

You will need to contact all of your creditors and make sure that you inform them that you are divorcing or separating and that you do not want your ex to have access to your accounts. Usually you will have to close current accounts that you have in joint name. You will both need to sign the closure and if the account is in credit this is divided between you. If you cannot agree a block will be placed on the account so that neither of you can have access.

The bank can arrange for you to have a new account set up so that only your information appears on the account. This will help you keep track of your credit and make sure you are not going be responsible for any purchases that are not yours.

You will need to start building a new credit rating for yourself. You will want to make sure that you make the right choices to keep your credit in good standing and create a new path so that you can get on with your life.

Old credit cards and loans will need to be paid off so that you are starting with a fresh and clean slate -- remember you are "jointly and severally" liable for joint debt. Hopefully you and your ex can agree on a strategy to get this debt out of the way. Allow for loan payments in your new budget.

It is a good idea is to open an account and start saving some money for yourself -- consider that you are "paying yourself first". Get into the habit of putting a little bit of money away each week or month so that you can start building up your good name. This will be a great help for you later when you may try to open up accounts for credit cards or apply for a loan to make a purchase such as for a home. Paying yourself first will also help you build a stronger financial security net for yourself.

Try to keep on track as much as possible. Avoid buying anything that you do not need and keep your spending to a minimum and remember that budget! Once you have achieved your goal of building up your credit rating and getting back on the right track, you will start to see your way to a better and more secure financial future. Contact Lyn for a personal interview to get your financial life back on track.Back to top

AFA

As an Authorised Financial Adviser in Christchurch Lyn Bell has passed the requirements of the Financial Markets Authority and is legally qualified to provide financial services to her clients throughout New Zealand.  

Lyn’s registration can be viewed at www.fspr.govt.nz. Lyn can also be found at the Financial Markets Authority website.

A disclosure statement is available free on request

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While every care has been taken to supply accurate information, errors and omissions may occur. Accordingly, Lyn Bell & Associates accepts no responsibility for any loss caused as a result of any person relying on the information supplied.