Life is so good right now: You and your honey are married. It's such an exciting time of your life.
Maybe you had the fairytale wedding of your dreams. Maybe you had a quiet, more intimate ceremony with your close family and friends. Either way, the wedding of your dreams happened.
As you're consumed by wedding bliss, there may be a few things you and your beloved didn't talk about before you got married. These are things that, during your first year of marriage, can begin to cause tension and strain your relationship.
This is especially true for the things that involve money. Suddenly, you find yourself standing in your kitchen, having an argument with your spouse that sounds eerily similar to the loud conversations your parents used to have. Let's hold on to the wedding bliss and avoid some of the most common money mistakes newlyweds make:
1. You didn't find out the other person's money psychology.
Yes, this is a real thing. Depending on one's experience with money, a person can develop a money psychology that can be bucketed into either “There will always be more money” or “There is never enough money.”
Is one of you the spender and the other one the saver? It's hard enough to not really be on the same page regarding how you feel about money, but it can be even more difficult to deal with when it comes to light in real-life situations, such as if one of you makes an expensive purchase on a whim, without discussing it in advance.
2. You don't talk about money.
When you don't talk about money proactively, you wind up having “money talks” defensively. You only speak after a “mistake” has been made, and when someone is uncomfortable with a financial choice.
Make an effort to have an open dialogue with your spouse about money. Talk about your bills, any debts you brought into the marriage (separately or together), savings, aspirations and goals you have for your money and overall fears or concerns you both may have about your money.
I highly recommend regularly scheduled money talks each month. This can be a “safe space” to talk about money proactively, get on the same page about priorities for saving and spending and even create a household budget. Openness and transparency with one another will help prevent money from becoming a divisive factor in your new marriage.
3. You don't hold the other person financially accountable.
It's a good thing to talk about money. But now, you need to help the other person live up to the decisions you have made together.
You created a budget, and now, you can help the other stick to it. Don't enable your partner to stray from the plan.
Be in agreement, and be strong for each other. In this way, you can reach your larger goals like getting out of debt, saving for a down payment on a home, etc.
4. You give one person complete control over the finances.
Even if one of you is “better” about money than the other is, one person should not be 100 percent responsible for all the finances in your household. Money is a huge responsibility, and too important to burden one person with.
Managing the household finances is a two-person job because it requires both of you to stick to wise decisions that will help you achieve the life you envision together.
5. You keep money secrets from each other.
Secrets don't really have a place in a marriage. Money secrets certainly don't, either.
Not being honest about money undermines the trust you built in your relationship. Don't hide the fact that you spent money on a purchase that you maybe didn't talk about first.
It's important to be open and honest about money. If you start keeping things from each other financially, it severely compromises your ability to make money decisions together.
It's never too late to get on the same page when it comes to finances. As newlyweds, start your marriage with a clean financial slate.
Take care to avoid these common mistakes, so that money becomes one of the things you and your partner can grow closer over. Don't allow it to grow to a topic of contention.