Budgeting is a great way to increase intimacy in your relationship. Whether the goal is to hold each other accountable to your budget or to save for some future purchase, you grow together when you strive for the same end. It is important to keep open communication with regard to finances. It doesn’t matter who has the mathematical gift or who actually writes and sends out the checks; what matters is that you are both involved and aware of your debt. Sit down once a month and go over your bills together so that you both are aware of what is coming in and what is going out each month. This way you will be on the same page and there will be less likelihood of distrust creeping in because one spouse isn’t sure about the expenditures the other spouse is making.
Trust is a solid foundation for marriage; don’t let doubt intrude, especially since finances are a key area that can begin to create uncertainty when things are not going smoothly in other areas of the relationship. This is another reason why I do not recommend separate bank accounts. If the marriage is doing well, do not make the finances the place where you begin to lead separate lives. Again we come back to the issue of perceived trust. Once things start to be hidden in a relationship we have laid the ground for doubt.
Are you a spender or a saver? How about your spouse? Are you effective at coming together to set financial goals (Planning vacations, preparing for retirement, children’s education, saving for marital enrichment, etc)? Has trust been an issue in the past with regards to finances? Are you content with the way you handle money? What might need to change in your household?
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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