Financial Do’s and Don’ts That Married Couples Need to Know

Find common financial ground as a married couple.

Did you know that money issues are the top source of friction among American couples? Couples fight over money issues more than they fight over anything else, including infidelity. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, married couples experience an average of four arguments per month.

Research has proven however that if couples can get their money issues settled early in the relationship, they can increase their chances of a longer, happier, more prosperous partnership. Here are some steps to follow to insure the overall financial success of any marriage.

Communicate… Communicate… Communicate

In 2012, the number 1 reason for divorces was due to lack of communication. To many Americans money and emotions go hand in hand. In any successful relationship you must first understand your partner’s relationship to money and their overall money values. Talking about finances before an argument arises is the best way to get a better understanding of your partner’s financial personality. This will also stop couples from arguing over financial issues that are not easily fixable.

Set and Respect Spending Limits

Sometimes in relationships one person may tend to spend more money than the other one. A lot of couples have the hardest time differentiating between what items are needed and what items are wanted. Spending is very important and when couples join together their finances, it becomes very important to agree on spending ground rules. This does include creating and sticking to a budget. In order for both parties to stick to it, this must a be a realistic budget that both parties can stick to.

Remain Honest at All Costs

A lot of couples fight over the deceitful behavior that comes with being dishonest with spending and hiding money. One thing to remember for sure is that prenuptial agreements may not be the most liked, but they need to be considered in all marriage agreements. Think of it this way, when you get married it’s like you just merged your businesses. Knowing how much your partner earns is important in the life expectancy of the marriage. It is also important to know their spending habits and how much debt they are carrying. Keep in mind that the financial decisions you make will affect the both of you.

Converse About Your Financial Risks and Fears

How are your spending habits? Are you a financial risk taker that may cause your spouse to lose sleep because you occasionally suffer financial losses and gains here and there? Couples often disagree when it comes to one partner investing, starting a business, switching careers or going back to school. The most important thing to remember is if you are married to a risk-free investor, then you will need to find some common ground. The key thing to remember is to discuss the worst case scenario in every case. Always negotiate investments with each prior to making them.

April Lewis-Parks has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she is a certified financial counselor, and a consumer affairs advocate. As the director of education and public relations for Consolidated Credit she is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues and acts as their consumer affairs advocate. As host the of, she promotes financial education and offers timely and informative personal finance articles to educate the public. April’s promotional efforts can be seen in past issues of the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Consumer Reports, the Business Journals, Money Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, among others. Connect with April on Google+.