How To Manage Money: 7 Common Mistakes Couples Make

Last Updated by Neiko Johnson on 
August 15, 2021
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How To Manage Money 7 Common Mistakes Couples Make

Learning how to manage money is one of the best things a married couple can do for themselves.

Managing money together can help you prepare for emergencies, retirement, and more.

If you and your spouse argue about money, you're not alone. Money fights are one of the top issues couples face. In fact, it's one of the leading causes of divorce.

According to a study completed by Ramsey Solutions, 86% of couples who got married in the last 5 years started out in debt. Ultimately, the higher the amount of debt, the more likely they are to argue about money.

That is to say, couples who have healthy marriages are much more likely to have open conversations about their money, dreams, and goals.

Money management takes discipline and can be hard to do in the first few years of marriage.

There are a lot of money mistakes couples make, and we are going to talk about the 7 most common.

Let's get started!

1. Not having a joint account

First off, the number of money arguments can be decreased if you and your spouse have a financial plan that you both agree on. That begins with having a joint account where your checks are deposited and all payments and savings are made from.

However, you can also each have a separate checking account where you have some fun money each month. At the end of the day, both people need to agree on how much each person will get.

Most importantly, having a joint account creates simplicity, and having your own checking account gives you a little freedom. In this case, your fun money can be spent guilt-free and the other person has no say-so over it.

The mistake most couples make is thinking finances are handled separately. Once you are married all of the money is in one pot.

At the beginning of our marriage, we attempted to handle money separately and it caused a ton of issues.

On the positive side, the day we made the decision to combine all of our money, we have never argued about money again. To clarify, there are many couples who are successful without a joint account.

However, the easiest way to handle money is together.

2. Not talking enough about finances

First off, we know for most people it's easier to not talk about certain things related to money that may feel uncomfortable.

However, taking the time to sit down together each month and make plans regarding your finances creates something special.

For us, we feel like we have accomplished so much more and feel closer when we tackle our financial goals together.

Money goals and dreams are important for spouses to talk about. Above all, couples with happier marriages are more likely to have those important money conversations.

The state of finances in the American household survey shows that 94% of those with "great" marriages discuss their money and dreams together, compared to only 45% of those who say their marriage is "okay" or "in crisis."

3. Trying to manage money without a plan

Financial security is one of the best reasons to manage money with a plan. In fact, being prepared financially is one of the best feelings in the world.

You can have more freedom in your life and feel confident about your future.

Ask your spouse to sit down with you and create a financial plan together. In fact, this is the first step to manage money and be on the same page.

For example, establish a time (weekly at the beginning) to stay accountable with each other. Be certain to work as a team and communicate effectively.

Imagine a marriage where there are big purchases made without discussing them with the other person. That sounds like a bad approach, right?

Certainly, it's a very bad idea to make big purchases without first talking to your spouse. Seek your spouse's counsel and be open with each other. It's important to agree on major purchases and of course budget together. As a result, this builds trust.

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4. Taking on too much debt

As stated above, when you take time to sit down and discuss your finances together, you will be on the same page on how to manage money.

In particular, this is important when there are thoughts of taking on more debt. You will know exactly what your priorities are and how taking on more debt doesn't align with them.

At the end of the day, paying off debt is worth it and not taking out any more debt helps you build generational wealth. Debt can lead to you losing focus and losing focus can make your future vulnerable.

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5. Managing money without boundaries

Some couples experience money issues when it comes to family. Of course, we all want to help our family and others as much as possible.

However, you have to be careful and set clear boundaries when it may affect your financial situation. At the end of the day, lending money to friends or family is a bad decision.

If someone is in great need then of course help them if you can. But, make it a gift, not a loan.

This is the best approach so there's not an I.O.U. on their shoulders. Ultimately, this will keep the relationship strong and avoid any hard feelings.

6. Attempting to split up financial responsibilities

When you get married, combining your bank accounts and money is crucial. Trying to split up financial responsibilities will create confusion rather than having transparency.

Working together on every part of your finances promotes honesty and creates a sense that "we're in this together!"

If you want an enjoyable relationship, you must make your finances a priority. Most importantly, couples who agree on money and have healthy finances almost always have a stronger marriage.

In fact, when you can talk about finances openly with your spouse, you're able to talk about anything.

7. Not enjoying money together

There are many ways to enjoy money together, especially when you have some extra money.

Being debt-free will free up your money to live the life you want to live. Of course, everyone loves having extra money to enjoy.

However, a common mistake couples make is not finding ways to have additional streams of income.

A great option to have extra income is starting a blogging business together. We love blogging to serve others through personal finance.

It's a great opportunity for us to share our perspectives and help others at the same time. It's a win-win situation. Start your blogging business today for as low as $3.95/month with Bluehost. Also, go download our free 5 Step Introduction Course to help you get started.

We also don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying money separately, however, you should make sure that is not the only way. Certainly, making time for each other is forever important.

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Final Words - How To Manage Money 7 Common Mistakes Couples Make

Working through money issues can be frustrating. However, working with your spouse and encouraging each other will lead to a brighter future.

As you start to talk openly about how you handle money, you will begin to feel more connected in your marriage and experience financial freedom like never before.

What common mistakes have you and your spouse experienced?

Do you have any tips you would add to this list?


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Article written by Neiko Johnson
Neiko is a personal finance expert and Co-founder of Secret to Finance. Along with his wife Alexis, they learned how to get out of debt and paid off $400,000 in 4 years.

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