Money and marriage: Common pitfalls to avoid

For many people, the day they get married is one of the happiest days of their lives. The dress, the reception, being surrounded by family and friends, and vowing to spend the rest of your life with someone you love—it’s a happy day, indeed! However, once the wedding bells stop ringing and the honeymoon ends, sometimes one of the first hiccups in a new marriage can be combining finances. While some newlyweds may choose to combine their accounts and financial obligations, others will choose to keep their finances separate. There are no hard and fast rules for combining finances after marriage, and every couple has to find what works best for them. Read below for some tips on making the transition as smooth as possible.

1. Communication

According to an Insider survey, financial problems are the cause for divorce 36.1% of the time. While conflicting “money styles” certainly contribute to this, communication—or lack thereof—is usually at the root of most issues. Consistent and honest communication is particularly important when dealing with finances. Discussions about finances should occur during the engagement period, but if you skipped that part of the courtship, have no fear—it’s not too late. You and your new spouse should discuss how you want to handle your finances—early and often. Your financial status and health is not a one-time conversation. Consider scheduling a monthly or quarterly “state of the union” talk to review your finances. If you and your new spouse are open and honest with each other, you’ll improve your chances of a smooth transition when combining your finances.

 

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