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Money and Marriage – Developing Your Plan

Source: Fleet and Family Support Center

Whether you are marrying for the first time or remarrying, developing your financial plan for the future can be exciting when done together.

Knowing your financial expectations and sharing them with your spouse is an important first step.

You need to talk about your finances

1. Couples should observe each other’s money habits and talk honestly and openly about money attitudes and expectations.

2. Each person should understand how their partner handles money – ask your spouse about their financial upbringing – which has been influenced by their parents’ attitudes about money and whether they grew up rich, poor or middle class.

3. Evaluate spending priorities – agree where your money will go. Come up with an equitable plan that takes both person’s priorities into account.

4. Discuss the type of lifestyle you will lead and your financial goals such as buying a home, preparing for children, investing and retirement, paying on existing debt and opening new credit accounts, and establishing ground rules for purchase of big-ticket items.

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5. Do not keep secrets.

6. Assess your individual financial skills and decide how you will divide the money management tasks; such as paying bills, preparing tax returns, making investment decisions.

Compromise – learning how to make joint decisions

As you talk with each other, you will begin to understand why your views may differ from your spouse’s views. Consider the deeper, emotional issues that direct behavior without judging or criticizing. This financial understanding of each other is the basis for compromises you will need to make about money management. Also establish financial goals. Decide when you want to achieve financial independence and determine where you want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years.

Discuss financial matters periodically

Agree upon a formal time, perhaps weekly or monthly, to go over financial matters. Review your credit report at least once each year and finally, work as a team.

Building your financial wealth together requires having the right information, planning and making good choices. If you have any questions about building your financial future together, contact your Fleet and Family Support Center and make an appointment with a financial counselor. We are here to serve you.

Frances Goodman is a Personal Financial Management Counselor at Fleet and Family Support Center, Naval Submarine Base New London.



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