How to Stay Debt-Proof in Your Marital Relationship
Money management is the key in any relationship. Whether you're newly married or are getting ready to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary, the last thing that you need is to take on a lot of unwanted debt. The following tips will help you and your spouse stay out of debt while maintaining a great relationship.
Keep the lines of communication open Deciding when and how to tell a partner about debt or other significant financial issues can be tricky. You don't want to bring up the topic on a first date, but you also don't want to wait to mention it until you've been married for two years. Be open with your spouse, and let him or her know that you are always available to talk about budgeting and other financial topics.
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Determine a household budget Calculating your household budget will give you an accurate idea how much money you need for bills and other monthly expenses, such as groceries. With this budget in hand, you can figure out if there are ways to cut costs, such as getting rid of premium cable channels or switching to a different cell phone plan. You'll also know how much money is available for fun activities, such as eating out.
Create an emergency fund You never know when you'll need emergency money. No one ever counts on losing a job or having a major car repair. Keeping extra savings in a separate emergency account will give you financial security in the event that something does go wrong.
Make financial goals together Once you've established a household budget and started setting aside emergency funds, you can begin planning larger financial goals, such as saving for a big vacation or creating a college fund for your kids.
Designate financial responsibilities It is up to each couple to decide how they'll handle financial responsibilities, such as paying bills and buying groceries. Some couples would rather have one person handle the majority of the finances while other couples feel more comfortable splitting up the responsibilities. Make sure that you're on the same page with your money management.
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