In a recent study by GoBankingRate.com, 27 percent of survey participants would consider divorcing their spouse for keeping financial secrets, and of those that have lied, the common lie was about spending habits.
Well, with Valentine’s Day upon us, we have financial professional Dale McCarty, President of Retirement Designers Financial Group, here to talk money tips for your marriage.
What advice do you have for couples that may be struggling with talking to their partner about finances?
- First, it’s important for couples to be honest and open with their money and finances. Each partner should know what’s coming in and what’s going out. It’s ok if you want to have separate accounts, but you need to be honest about those accounts.
- Financial surprises can lead to potential problems down the road.
- Make time to talk about money. Sit down and build a budget. Set goals.
Should one person or both be in charge of the finances?
- Every couple is different. For some, it might work well to divide and conquer. So, one partner takes care of paying the bills and the other is in charge of the investments, for example.
- At the end of the day, it’s important for BOTH people to know what’s going on, regardless of whether they’re handling the day to day finances.
Valentine’s Day is traditionally a popular time to get engaged. Do you have any financial tips for engaged couples?
- Yes – transparency is important! You need to be on the same page. So, make sure you’re honest with each other about any debts you’re bringing to the marriage/relationship.
- Sit down early on and talk about your needs and wants for the future. Does one partner want to be a stay at home parent? Is there debt that needs to be paid off? Then you can work on a plan together to help reach those goals.
- Start thinking about a budget early on. – both for the potential wedding or honeymoon, as well as a budget for day to day life together.
Any other financial tips for couples?
- Life insurance may be something to consider when you’re discussing important financial decisions with your spouse.
- Start thinking about long-term saving goals and retirement. It may seem far-off now, but if you start to put a strategy in place and putting money away now, it could help down the road, when you’re celebrating other life milestones and anniversaries.
- I encourage everyone to check with their financial professional to see what works for your situation.