Finance in Marriage: Before and After Single Life
Learning to balance household finance can be a bit of an enigma. On one hand, the freedom of single-life spending is usually more limited when it comes to sharing with your spouse. On the other hand, the benefit of a bit more financial stability can certainly produce more opportunities to live the life you dreamed about but could barely afford. The question is, how do you come to grips with losing your financial freedom?
It’s never easy going from dedicated self reliance to a situation of sharing financial burden and responsibility. Ironically, finances after marriage often means the things you probably took for granted before, like your monthly recreation allowance, all of a sudden become the forefront of your new financial journey with your “better half.” So it becomes the battle of what to give in to and what to give up on.
Consider these guidelines for tackling finance in marriage before you find yourself splitting hairs over the grocery budget, Pilates classes and your personal purchases:
Transition your individual accounts to a joint account. This requires a lot of talking, planning together and mutual agreements. As each of you are trustworthy and trust the other, you have the opportunity to dream together and build together the life you want. Consider a joint and single account so that you can merge at a slower pace.
Budget and allocate money for the important necessities and big purchases in advance of every month. Surprise purchases often equal big fights, so work together first to budget your expenses. Find activities to do together to reduce the strain of spending “our money” on personal expenses or whims. Try setting aside a separate budget every month for items that are important to each of you individually so that you are caring for each other.
Obviously there is no picture-perfect means to understanding household finance, but the key to managing and learning how to manage finances after marriage is working together. It could be said that learning to handle finances in marriage is much like learning to ride a bike, with your initial efforts producing a few bumps and bruises, and the later efforts offering relatively smooth sailing once you learn the ropes.
Just as learning how to ride a bicycle is easier with help, learning how to manage household finance is easier if you learn to communicate about your individual and joint priorities. Give us a call to learn how we can help.