Do you and your spouse fight about money? You’re not alone—according to a recent poll by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Harris Interactive, 27% of people say they tussle with their spouse over money. That’s even more than fights about kids (16%) or household duties (13 %). What can couples do to make things right?
Talk about it. Because money can be an emotional conversation topic, many couples choose not to talk about it at all. This can cause big trouble when partners silently bring money problems (say, a lot of student loan or credit card debt) into a marriage. While the truth may hurt, finding out about problems later hurts worse. Money conversations should include philosophies about saving, credit, hopes for the future, and any topic that impacts your financial life together.
Joint and separate. While it doesn’t work for everyone, many couples find it helpful to create both a joint account and individual accounts for each partner. Shared expenses like rent/mortgage and utility bills are paid from the joint account, while personal items and entertainment come out of individual accounts.
Get help. Sometimes, an impartial third party can help take the emotion out of family finances. Consider meeting with a Summit Financial Advisor (it’s free!) to develop a plan to serves your mutual money goals.