No one plans on getting divorced on that blissful day when they officially “tie the knot.” You’re madly in love, anxious to spend forever together, and your spouse-to-be can seemingly do no wrong. Unfortunately, things aren’t always as glamorous after the wedding day and divorce is the result for far too many couples.
So what is the ultimate predictor of divorce?
While this question has been discussed and debated for years, many studies have shown that conflicts surrounding money may very well be the top predictor or your marital success.
It’s important to note that studies have not shown a correlation between the amount of money a couple makes and their marital fortune. Rather, it’s the amount of conflict in your marriage surrounding money that could predict your future.
These two concepts may seem similar (since you might think that couples who make more would argue less about money), but it’s an important and significant difference. There are plenty of happily married couples who get by on very little. On the other hand, there are plenty of “wealthy” couples who end up separated.
So, how are you doing? Do you and your spouse see eye-to-eye on financial matters? Do you help and support one another? Or has money become a constant source of contention?
Achieving financial harmony in your marriage is a critical (and sometimes overlooked) component of a happy marriage. Here are 4 simple tips to consider that will help you find that financial harmony.
1. Set financial goals together.
Remember, without a vision for where you want to be in the future, it can be very challenging to determine the correct path forward today. How do you know which turns along the road of life are correct if you haven’t identified a final destination? Setting financial goals together will help you to define that destination and enable you to chart your path forward.
2. Get on the same page and make a budget.
A budget could very well save your marriage. Seriously. If one spouse is a spender and the other is a saver, there’s a natural conflict. By agreeing on a budget together (and being committed to it), you can avoid much of that conflict. Rather than one spouse being the “bad guy” that’s constantly harping on spending (while the other spouse feels like they’re a teenager again), the budget can be the source that you’re accountable to.
3. Save, Save, Save!
Financial hardship can be a very serious and real source of stress. A lot of stress isn’t good for your health, and it isn’t good for your marriage either. Sometimes life happens and we encounter unexpected expenses. It could be a medical issue, a job loss, or a million other things. When life happens, having an emergency fund in place can alleviate some of that stress. So, remember to save, save, save! It might not always be easy, but every little bit helps. If you aren’t savers already, start with a small amount each week that you can commit to save and not touch. It will add up quickly.
4. Remember you’re on the same team and nurture your marriage!
Ultimately, you and your spouse are teammates and companions. You’re in this together! You may not always agree when it comes to finances, and that’s okay. Often, differences of opinion coupled with healthy debate can actually lead to better decision making. Doing the little things each and every day to love and care for each other is vital to nurturing your marriage, and keeping you close together despite any petty financial disagreements that may occur from time to time.
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