Financial mindset is probably not something that newlywed couples will be thinking about. But you should not wait until after the honeymoon phase is over before working on your financial plans as a couple. While this is not a conversation that you should have right after the wedding party, it is an important topic that you need to face as soon as possible.
Now that you are married, you have to do everything together. At least, most of what you do or decide for the future should include or consider each other. This is how you can strengthen your relationship.
A successful marriage (or any relationship, for that matter) is only possible if the couple can grow and change together. Otherwise, you might end up drifting apart from your spouse.
To avoid that, you need to get to know your spouse deeply. Since your household finances will cause the most stress at home, this is a safe place for you to start.
The truth is, a lot of young adults are postponing marriage because of financial difficulties like high rent, student loans, insufficient income, etc. It should be safe to assume that even if young adults marry at a young age, they will most likely bring these financial burdens with them in the union. This is all the more reason to talk about the household finances and come up with a resolution that will keep these issues from ruining the marriage.
When it comes to your finances specifically, you need to understand the financial mindset that will shape every decision that they make about money. This mindset is basically personal ideas and beliefs about money. It is usually influenced by how they were brought up and their past experiences.
How to make your financial mindset work together
If you want to keep your individual finances from turning into a fight, you have to understand how your respective financial mindsets work. Instead of immediately being defensive about how you think your finances should be managed, you need to listen to what the other has to say.
Here are some tips that will help you work on having your financial mindset work together with that of your spouse.
Understand your specific financial behavior
There are money problems that couples usually disagree on. One might think that there is a need to save a lot of money while the other does not think it should be given a lot of importance. Before you defend your side and insist that you should be followed, try to understand the financial mindset of your spouse first. Maybe they think that way because of how their own parents managed their money. Talk about what their finances were like growing up. Then you can explain why you believe that a certain way of managing your finances will work. If you are both adamant about your beliefs, try to compromise.
The initial conversation about your financial behavior will set the tone of future discussions about money. You will find that this can be a really healthy habit that newlyweds should start getting used to.
Remember, it takes two to decide
Another thing that you need to do is to always remember that the two of you should be deciding on everything. You need to learn how to budget as a couple. It does not matter if only one of you is earning or if both of you are earning. You need to respect the opinion of the other. It helps to divide the financial responsibilities. For instance, the wife can be in charge of the groceries and household expenses. The husband can be responsible for paying the bills (e.g. utilities, rent, debts, etc). If you set a budget, you can let each other decide on the smaller details. But if one will overspend, the other should be informed. That is one way for you to work as a team and learn to respect the financial mindset of the other.
What one does will affect the other
When you are making financial decisions that involve your respective areas in the budget, you need to keep in mind that your choices will affect the other. If you decide on overspending and charging the excess on your credit card, that can backfire on the both of you. The debt can affect both of your credit scores. Not only that, if the debt ends up restricting your household budget and overall lifestyle, you will both have to live with that. By keeping each other in mind, you will unconsciously consider the specific financial mindset of your spouse. That is a great habit to get used to.
You should have the same goals
You can also work on your money mindset together by having the same goals. Your financial mindset, regardless of what it was when you got married, can change over time. As you and your spouse work on building the same future, you will be molded into the same mindset. You will be driven by the same goal and that will influence the decisions and sacrifices that you have to make in order to reach your targets. These goals can start small. Once you have achieved the smaller goal, you can proceed to set bigger ones – like buying your own house.
Tips to establish a financial mindset as a couple
Having the same financial mindset with your spouse takes effort and dedication. It is true that you can develop the same mindset as your loved one. However, you will never be fully the same. That means there will still be times when you would prefer different approaches to the way you manage your money.
Here are some tips that will strengthen your financial mindset as a couple.
In all marriages, communication is always the key. A survey revealed that couples who classify their marriage as “great” are those who talk about money regularly. A lot of people are not comfortable talking about money. While that is acceptable between friends and even relatives, it should not be the same with your spouse. You need to be able to talk comfortably with them about everything. Not only that, but you should also talk about money regularly. Set a monthly date when you will sit down to talk about your current financial situation.
Be honest with each other
As you give the communication a boost, make sure that it is done with complete honesty. Financial infidelity is a common thing and it is sometimes more damaging than committing adultery. Studies reveal that 4 out of 10 American adults have admitted to hiding spending habits, accounts or debts from their significant other. You need to keep things truthful if you want your marriage to work. This is why you have to make sure that you will always tell the truth – even if you know that your spouse will get angry at you.
Agree to disagree
Finally, you should learn how to agree to disagree. It might sound contradicting to your pursuit of having the same financial mindset as your spouse. But as mentioned, you will never be the same person. That means there may be issues that you will never agree on – and that should be okay. This is where compromise comes into play. Learn how to give and take without having to hurt each other. Sometimes, it helps to put yourself in the shoes of the other. Your knowledge of each other’s financial mindsets should help accomplish this. If you keep a calm state of mind, you can find a resolution without having things escalate into a huge fight.