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New love is a wonderful, exciting thing, and you may be tempted to leave the decidedly unromantic notion of smart money management out of the equation. But if a relationship is going to last, you can’t run away from money forever.
A reader asks if getting married means you're responsible for each other's debts.
Managing joint expenses can be a mindfield if you're not careful. Here are five simple ways to share expenses and keep the peace.
The marriage rate among young adults has gone down steadily every generation and it turns out that money worries are one of the leading factors.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: how you deal with money can make or break a relationship.
If Shakespeare was around today the saying might be “Love is blind...but not if you have a boatload of debt, in which case love sees that business and needs you to take care of it ASAP.”
A recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) regarding money and marriage resulted in some alarming statistics. According to the results, 68 percent of respondents indicated they would feel uncomfortable discussing money with their future spouse. And five percent indicated the conversation would be so unpleasant, it would cause them to call off the wedding.
I don't know about you, but I find these numbers to be pretty alarming — on a few levels.
The key to a happy marriage lies in communication. And the key to good communication is trust. So ultimately, if you don’t trust your partner enough to believe that you could persevere through a tough conversation, there are likely some underlying issues that need to be addressed BEFORE walking down the aisle.
Don’t get me wrong, I know from personal experience that discussing finances is rarely (if ever!) a pleasant conversation. But I also know it’s a necessary conversation.
Being the daughter of a psychologist whose specialty is marriage counseling, I had it hammered into my head from a young age that open, honest communication (which also requires listening!) is important for a healthy relationship. Yet, even with that knowledge, I can tell you that 90 percent of the fights my husband (of only 10 months, mind you!) and I have had, are related to finances. So trust me, I get it!
But I also know that with every conversation, we get more comfortable talking about those hard-hitting money issues. And in the long run, it has helped to make our relationship stronger.
So whether you’re engaged, a newlywed or you’ve been married for 35 years, there’s still a lot you can do to improve your finances – and ultimately, your relationship. You just have to start talking.
Download our Love and Money eBook for more tips about starting the conversation, as well as tools and resources to help manage your finances as a couple.
How do you approach the topic of finances in your relationship? Any tips, tricks or strategies? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post!
How did we get here?
It seems like just yesterday we were so carefree – going out to eat, shopping at my favorite boutiques, relaxing on weekend getaways – living it up! And while I was warned you could be bad for me, I ignored the naysayers – after all, we were having so much fun! Plus, there was enough give-and-take to sustain our whirlwind romance.
But things have changed. You have changed.
You began taking more than you gave, and that was really hard for me. And eventually I found myself questioning if the fun we had was really worth the stress and pain you were putting me through.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that relationships aren't one-sided. And there’s definitely more I could have done to keep us on the right track. But when I did try to salvage what we had left, you were unforgiving. You refused to budge no matter how hard I tried. In fact, it seems like the harder I tried, the more steadfast you became.
Well, I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of focusing on you. It’s time to focus on me.
I want my efforts to be valued — and I want to see progress. I don’t want to work hard at something, only to find myself stuck in the same miserable, unhappy place. After all, I have a lot to give! I am a kind, generous, hard-working person. But all you make me feel is worthless, pathetic and stressed. And I don’t deserve that.
I want my life back.
I’m tired of sitting here hoping things will change. I’ve realized that change doesn’t happen unless I make it happen. So I’m making a decision that I know will change my life for the better.
I’m breaking up with you.
P.S. And we are never, ever, ever getting back together!
What would you say in your break-up letter to debt? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post!
If you're ready to take your life back and finally kick debt to the curb, we're here to help! Nonprofit credit counseling through MMI can help you ditch debt and begin building a healthy relationship with your finances!
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