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Tips for Managing Finance in Marriage and Reducing Marriage Debt

Managing finance in marriage can be either a relatively smooth process, or it can be one of the greatest challenges you and your spouse face. The reality is that most of us enter marriages already in financial debt, the burden of which then falls on our and our spouse’s shoulders equally. Thus, managing finances after marriage becomes far more difficult as we try to balance what was ours and what was our spouse’s, a challenge that many couples don’t deal well with.

The good news is that there is marriage help available for couples who are struggling to get a handle on their finances. There are also helpful tips couples can follow to help ease the burden of debt and make managing household finance a less daunting venture.

Here are a few tips that should help you and your spouse get on the right track toward managing your finances without the hang-ups, roadblocks and relationship problems so many couples face:

  • If you are already knee-deep in a financial conundrum, seek out a professional financial advisor to help you develop a workable budget and financial plan toward meeting your daily and long-term needs.
  • If you are newly married, sit down with your spouse and create a monthly budget that separates personal expenses from necessities.
  • Consider opening both a joint and personal account to keep personal expenses from draining valuable funds used for monthly bills, emergencies, etc.
  • Be open and honest from the beginning and throughout the process about your personal debts. Don’t hide anything, ever! Nasty financial surprises can strain a marriage greatly and precipitate a marriage crisis, so keep the conversation aboveboard.
  • Develop a savings plan to set aside money solely for the purpose of paying down debt and meeting unforeseen medical and other emergencies.
  • Consider low-interest credit cards and consolidation loans ONLY if the interest rates and terms will allow you to aggressively pay down high-interest debt.
  • Passionately avoid spontaneous spending on unbudgeted items or pleasures.
  • Make commitments to each other, and keep them faithfully.
  • Again, don’t hide anything, EVER!

There is no magic formula to reducing marriage debt. But you might just avert a marriage crisis and save your marriage by applying an open, honest and thorough budget and debt management plan from the beginning. Couples who agree upon financial management principles and plan and work together to manage their finances consistent with those principles are better prepared to face the murky waters that marriage finances often present. Work out a budget and financial plan with mutual commitment to live within your means and be honest and open with each other. And do not be reserved about seeking professional marriage help if you need it to work through communication or relationship issues.