5 Ways to Financial Happiness With Your Spouse


A little while ago I wrote this article, How To Achieve Blame-Free Household Budgeting, and I got a few comments and emails about it asking me to expand more on the concept of handling finances with your spouse. I came up with these five ways that me and my wife deal with our finances and thought they might help you as well.

1. Talk About Money

The first is almost a no-brainer, talk about your finances with each other. It amazes me how many couples don’t talk to each other about money matters at all or hide money problems from each other until it’s too late. Even you maintain your money separately, you should let your spouse know what’s going on with it. Keeping money hidden from each other is a sign of a problem marriage, don’t let it happen to you. Trust or lack of trust over finances is one of the major things that keeps a couple together or causes them to split up.

2. Decide How You’ll Handle Your Money Together

In most cases it’s best to maintain joint accounts because this is a more frugal approach most of the time. However, there can be situations where each person handles their own money separately for various reasons. Whichever method you settle on, make sure that the bill paying and other financial housekeeping, such as budgeting, is split up in an equitable way. If everyone knows their responsibilities for the family finances up front this insures smoother relationship and no bickering over who should have paid a particular bill.

3. Consult Each Other On Major Purchases

One thing I constantly see couples fighting over is when someone brings home a big purchase without having consulted the other person. I see this all the time in hobby forums where a member has made a big purchase and they’re trying to hide it from the other person. Save yourself this stress by being open and honest about potential major purchases. If you can’t discuss this freely this is a big problem indicator in your relationship.

4. Allow "Mad Money"

However, you should also allow each other "mad money" to spend with no questions asked. You don’t want to begrudge your spouse a small purchase of an indulgent item, like a natural skin care product or a set of golf balls. Set a fixed dollar amount on this spending per month or week according to your personal budget.

5. Deal With Debts and Saving Together

The basic rule still applies, no hidden debts, no hidden savings. This insures a less stressful life together and allows you to solve money problems and reach mutual financial goals together. Hiding things indicates a lack of trust in the relationship and can lead to significant problems in time.

Do you have any methods you use to insure financial well being with your partner? What are your thoughts about my suggestions? Leave me a comment and let me know.


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Comment by nelly
2008-06-01 04:50:52

my fiance and I put every cent that we earn together, i often get blamed whenever something goes wrong and i dont know how to handle this.

Comment by jfc
2008-06-01 09:46:17

Hi Nelly,

Read the other article I linked to at the start of this one about blame free budgeting. This can help although I know from personal experience there still will be arguments from time to time.

The main thing is communication. Both people in the relationship have to be able to discuss money matters just as easily as they do other matters. Otherwise there will probably be trouble down the line at some point.

2008-07-01 00:34:20

My first husband and I kept separate bank accounts, at his insistance, and it was a real problem. Oh the time we wasted talking about who would pay for what. I finally got fed up with that. It is not the main reason we did not stay together, but it was a factor. I don’t recommend that policy to any couple.

Comment by Travel Over 30s
2008-11-09 20:44:54

We’ve always run 3 main accounts: his/mine/ours - well we did until I started this new online business and have dropped a few zeros off my income! Now we just run ours LOL

2008-11-09 20:46:23

Whats his is mine surely? Why would we need to discuss that LOL.

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