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How to Reduce Financial Stress in Your Marriage

Not getting your finances together can cause more than just personal worry. It can be the demise of a marriage if not handled correctly. According to CNBC, money fights and disagreements cause the most stress in marriage. Of the people polled by the news site, 35% of them reported that money was the main reason that they had conflicts with their spouse. In light of that, savvy couples take steps to reduce the financial stress in their marriage. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to employ the following tips to ease some of the financial tensions you’re experiencing right now.

Make a Budget (And Stick Too It)

As painful as it might be for couples to stick to a spending plan, making a budget and sticking to it is crucial to marriage health, according to a Murray, Utah credit union. Knowing how and where you’ll spend your money ahead of time will reduce a number of conflicts that could arise simply because you and your spouse already know where your money priorities are. The act of budgeting forces couples to communicate about these priorities, and gets the month’s money conflicts out of the way, allowing for a month of healthy communication. Easy tools such as www.everydollar.com make the budgeting process easy and intuitive. Just make sure that both partners get a vote, that the budget meeting concludes with everyone in agreement, and that nobody in the household strays from the budget without reconvening and amending the budget.

Avoid Impulse Shopping

Not being able to distinguish between a real need and a want contributes to the financial stress in a marriage. The Adventurous Writer website calls this phenomenon the inability to distinguish between need and entertainment shopping, that is to say, shopping because you’re bored or stressed, and other types of shopping. Couples can avoid this trap by determining what is a need and what is a want. They can also make a rule to wait a couple of days to buy something if they can’t tell the difference. It also helps to take a look at what your budget says. If the money isn’t there, make a rule that you and your spouse can’t buy that item.

Make Sure Your Money Values Gel

Forbes says that differing money values contributes to financial stress in a marriage. And this is more than just actually agreeing on a budget. If one spouse feels the other isn’t good with money, it doesn’t really matter what the reality is. Couples can avoid this by figuring out how to spend money together.

Have an Emergency Fund

Financial guru Dave Ramsey suggests in his book, “The Total Money Makeover” that you keep $1,000 in savings for a rainy day. That rainy day could be a truck repair. It could be a new furnace. Whatever it is, make sure your budgeting efforts include making an emergency fund.

Last Thoughts

Money doesn’t have to be a source of conflict between you and your spouse if you agree on how you’re going to spend your money. Avoiding entertainment spending and budgeting for an emergency are some other steps you can take to keep your financial – and therefore your marriage – health intact. This kind of communication takes discipline and emotional maturity – but you can handle that! Mastering these concepts will transform family finance from a source of conflict to a source of unity in your marriage.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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