The following post is from Melissa Batai

What you see in your parents’ marriage, and in your family, deeply affects your own thoughts and actions.  You may not realize this when you’re single because those thoughts and actions are normal for you.  However, when you get married, you’ll inevitably find yourself disagreeing with your spouse because what he or she has grown up with and considers normal is completely different than what you’ve grown up with.  Your belief system is being challenged, and it’s not fun.  If you’re not careful, these differences can lead to rough patches in your marriage, especially when it comes to how you handle finances.

However, with time, you can meet in the middle when it comes to money decisions.  Here are some of the most important steps for learning how to share financial decision making:

The higher earning spouse doesn’t automatically control the money.  Some couples believe that if one spouse is earning more, he should be in charge of the finances.  That doesn’t have to be, and likely shouldn’t be, the case.  That spouse may not be better suited to the handling of money and may balk at the task.

Talk about how your parents handled their money.  What did you like or dislike about the way your parents handled money?  What would you like to do differently?  What would you like to do the same?  Luckily for my husband and I, I prefer to handle the money, and we both come from a background where our mothers handled the money on a day-to-day basis.  We had no disagreement here.  However, we did have disagreements about how to use the money as I come from a family where saving money never happened, and his family saved money religiously.

Agree on a limit for impulse buying.  Many experts recommend a limit for impulse purchases that you can buy without telling your spouse.  That may be as low as $25 or as much as $300 or more depending on your income, your financial situation, and your comfort level.

However, most people spend money little by little every day, so to manage the budget, it’s also equally important to agree on an amount to spend every week, such as no more than $75 a week for lunches out, extra treats at the gas station, etc.  These little expenditures can wreak havoc on the budget if they’re not limited, and they can also cause stress in your marriage.  According to Money.com, “46% of respondents” in a recent survey cite “frivolous purchases as the top cause of money fights.”

Discuss finances at designated intervals.  Even if one partner is solely responsible for managing the money, the other partner should know the basics of the couple’s financial situation.  If the non-money partner looks at expenditures and income each month, that creates accountability for both partners.  In addition, partners should agree on investing, saving, spending, and other money goals so that they’re on the same page financially.

Merging two different money styles can be challenging, but taking the time to establish financial goals together, set limits and share the budgeting responsibilities can make money discussions much easier.

Do you and your spouse have different financial styles?  If so, how did you find ways to agree on your financial goals and spending?

5 Financial Tips to Get Your Special Needs Child Affordable Therapy

Some children are quickly diagnosed after birth with a special need, whether that be a cleft palate or a more severe genetic condition.  Other children grow up seemingly typical, but then are diagnosed at a later date with a special need.  For instance, my brother had cerebral palsy, but he wasn’t diagnosed until after a […]

Read the full article →

8 Ways to Save for College on a Tight Budget

The following post is from Melissa Batai Our oldest is nearly 13, and we have very little saved for his college education.  That’s a scary thought since college costs are so expensive.  In 2016-2017, the College Board stated that in-state tuition, fees, and room and board average $20,090 per year. However, our budget is so […]

Read the full article →

You’re Never Too Young to Put Your Financial Affairs in Order

The following post is from Melissa Batai In the 16 years that my husband and I have been married, I am the one who has done all of the budgeting and bill paying.  I apprise my husband of what’s going on financially, and he does sometimes sit down and listen to me, but managing the […]

Read the full article →

Financial Strain: How to Keep Money From Messing with Your Marriage

What’s the number one thing that married couples bicker about? If you answered “money,” you’re correct. Financial matters can take their toll on any relationship. Between marital partners, even more so. If money is messing with your marriage, you’ll be glad we told you the following money info that may help to keep financial harmony […]

Read the full article →

Money In, Money Out: How to Budget and Save for Your Life Dreams and Aspirations

Many of us have dreams and goals that we would like to fulfill at some point in our lives, but it can sometimes feel like they are aspirations that are not going to be fulfilled when you take a look at your monthly budget. Paying your bills and putting money away is a balancing act […]

Read the full article →

How to Handle Finances When A Spouse Is Unemployed

These days, it is hard to survive on a single household income. Therefore, you may need to get creative when a spouse is unemployed. In addition to considering how to make up for a lost paycheck, it may also be necessary to make arrangements to find health care until he or she is able to […]

Read the full article →

5 Ways to Save on Kids’ Clothes

The following post is from Melissa Batai A kid’s job, it seems, is to grow as fast as possible.  Any parent of an infant can attest to that when the sweet baby fits in size 0 to 3 months for four weeks before zooming on to the next size.  Luckily, if you want to save […]

Read the full article →

Have an Exit Strategy for Adult Children to Fly the Nest

The following post is from Melissa Batai Grace was enjoying retirement and living alone when her adult child, Kathy, and her husband and two children found out they would have to leave the rented house they had lived in for years because the owner was selling and moving out of state.  Kathy and her family […]

Read the full article →

A Five Step Holiday Overspending Recovery Plan

The following post is from Melissa Batai Holiday overspending happens to the best of us.  Maybe we’re swayed by great sale prices, so we buy more than we need.  Maybe someone else lavishes us with gifts, so we feel the need to reciprocate.  Maybe we feel pressure to give gifts to all the service people […]

Read the full article →