Money, it’s one of the most common reasons couples fight and something many of us avoid talking about. Financial experts warn, however, that there are several common money mistakes that many married couples make which can seriously jeopardize the health of their relationship. So what are the most common money mistakes?
Money mistakes 1:
Failing to participate in financial matters
It could be the woman or the man, but often one partner is managing the money and the other has very little understanding of the day-to-day budget and the long-term goals and investments of the couple. Whether it’s because your partner’s too controlling and doesn’t want you to know what’s happening or you simply have no interest, if you do not know what’s going on, this is money mistake number one.
The bottom line is both spouses need to be involved in money making decisions. Make sure you understand how to pay the bills. Review the accounts together. And make sure you understand how to contact everyone who is involved with your finances (lawyers, financial planners, accountants, etc.). You never know when you might face a real emergency and you may need to make financial decisions for your family.
Money Mistakes 2:
Quitting work without a financial plan
Money mistake number two is quitting work, whether for a job chance or due to a pregnancy, without a financial plan. The first step towards creating a financial plan, if one spouse is going to quit work, is to learn to live on just one salary. This means it’s time to consider not just the immediate ways you can cut back but also the long-term risks, including the difficulty of re-entering the workforce.
Staying home and rearing your children is a wonderful choice. It’s also a great option for many families. But it does take planning. What do you do after you have your plan? Try to live on just one salary for several months before quitting work to ensure it is possible.
After you have a plan, experts also recommend considering ways to keep your earning potential strong even while you are unemployed. For example, have you considered staying in contact with your colleagues or taking continuing education courses? If you continue to challenge yourself and remain employable, if you do have to return to work, you will be ready.
Money Mistakes 3:
Putting the kids first all the time
The third money mistake that many parents make is to put their kids first. Moms and dad both love their kids very much and want to love and nurture them, but too often parents make too many sacrifices, even for their grown children who should be able to care for themselves.
If you are paying for your grown kids rent by dipping into your retirement savings, it’s time to stop. We are responsible for nurturing and loving our children, but as they grow that support changes form and generally should not be monetary. Making your children financially independent is one of your primary goals as a parent- and handouts don’t help achieve that goal.
Experts also warn against saving too much for a child’s college fund and neglecting your own retirement accounts. Your kids have many options to fund their college education. Your options to continue to work and generate income after a certain age may be limited.
Keeping a marriage strong is not just about love, companionship and respect. It’s also about avoiding some common money mistakes that can increase the tension and stress in your marriage.
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