The Last Taboo
How talking about money can save your marriage
Planning a Successful Financial Union:
- List your goals.
Do you want to own a home? Have one or more children? Do you plan to send them to private orpublic schools? College? Do you intend to retire? If so, when and with how much money in your piggy bank?
- Talk frankly about money values.
Sit down and discuss your family’s attitude toward money. Did you grow up poor? Affluent? How did your parents handle money? This can be a touchy conversation, but it can also be liberating and create a habit of communication.
- Clean up debt before you exchange vows.
A partner’s bad credit can affect yours.
- Figure out what each partner’s role will be.
The person who’s more detail-oriented might do the budgeting, account maintenance and check writing. The one who’s more interested in investments can track your portfolio, do research and make recommendations.
- Use a bookkeeping program like Quicken or MS Money to keep you on track
Their planning features help you think rationally about money and can often clarify financial issues.
- Seek professional advice.
Objective outside help can ease the stress surrounding money issues.
- Manage your finances as you would a business.
Take only reasonable risks and divide money-related tasks according to aptitude.
- No secrets.
Lay all your money cards on the table.
- Create wills and trusts!
Make sure you put in writing what and where your assets are and how you want them distributed.
- Talk monthly about where you are financially.
Even if you’d rather walk over hot coals, consider this a necessary chore. It’s part of the work of keeping your marriage on an even keel.