Talk To Your Spouse About Your Finances

by Pam on August 3, 2010

It’s important to be faithful to your spouse, and this includes being faithful regarding your finances.   A recent globeinvestor.com article entitled “Do You Cheat On Your Spouse Financially?” really got me thinking about the importance of being honest and open in marriage, specifically regarding finances.

Couples need to determine how much freedom each partner gets in terms of spending without the other’s permission.  Big-ticket items will likely require both partners’ consent, whereas smaller everyday items can likely be purchased at one person’s discretion.

It’s a good idea to sit down with your spouse early on in your marriage to set boundaries as well as to decide on the dollar amount that can be spent without needing the other’s permission.  Of course, every marriage is different and some couples may choose to keep all of their money separate and to rarely discuss their finances with each other.   (I don’t think this is the healthiest way to handle things, but I understand that there are special circumstances that may require this method.)

My husband and I decided from day one to put all of our money together.  As a result, most items we purchase are agreed upon beforehand unless the items are under $10 to $20 or are a basic necessity.  Any items that aren’t basic necessities are usually discussed before making the purchase, even if the item is inexpensive.  We know that the only way we are going to achieve our life goals is by being careful with how we spend our money now, so we take our spending seriously.

It may seem absurd to be so open and honest about your spending with your partner, however, there are some negative consequences to keeping your overspending habits to yourself.  When your spouse does end up discovering what you have been doing, this can lead to a breakdown in your marriage.  If your spouse cannot trust you regarding your finances, then your spouse may wonder what else you might be hiding.

Communication is important for partners in a marriage just like for partners in a business.  Don’t forget that finances make up a part of your marriage and it’s important to keep the lines of communication open on this front just like all the others.  You are a team and whether or not you like to talk about money, do it before it becomes a bone of contention between the two of you.

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