Being married is one of the best things that I’ve ever stepped into. I find that my husband has become truly my best friend with unconditional love for me. Of course, that’s a bit sappy for a personal finance blog. Maybe I should mention all of the times that he’s gotten a one day payday loan for me so we wouldn’t have to ask his parents again for money. Things got rough for a little while but he’s always been at my side, rocking and rolling from one problem to the next.
People ask me what my secret for having such a great marriage really is. It’s not that there are any magic words or anything like that — we just make sure that we talk about anything and everything that comes up. I don’t try to tell him that his viewpoint is invalid. We also don’t hide finances from each other.
It’s that last part, the finance part that I wanted to cover today. So many of my friends are really afraid to even talk about finances with their spouses, because they’re afraid that the conversation will go badly. Why should it? Money is powerful, and it’s something that needs to be treated with respect. Money doesn’t like when you hide it and not discuss it. Money wants to be appreciated, and if you are constantly saying bad things about money, how does money even know that you appreciate it? It really doesn’t, which means that you’re going to have a very hard time taking care of money the way you need to.
Get on good terms with your spouse before you’re even married. I spoke to my husband at length about my views on money. At the time, I only knew that money wasn’t my friend. I could never keep money. I would save, and then something would happen and I would have to tap my savings account dry. I never got around to getting more out of my savings through my checks at work, because I was so busy trying to take care of everything.
My husband was a saver beyond savers. He would even save the little half used bars of soap and roll them into one big bar after a while. He’s a very frugal man, whereas I was feeling miffed that I wasn’t able to spend like I wanted. He never ignored my feelings.
So, what can you learn from my darling hubby and I? Talk everything out. Make sure that you’re on the same page. If someone wants something the other doesn’t, learn to compromise.
I learned early on in my marriage that I really didn’t need to be right. I just wanted to be happy. For years, I thought that being right would yield happiness, but it really doesn’t. It makes me happier to go without something that my husband thinks is a bad buy than to buy it and argue for the next few weeks about how much I want it.
If you find something that you really feel that you have to have, give yourself a cooling off period to look at whether or not you really want it. Impulse buys are pretty common.
Just as your spouse will probably compromise with you, you should make sure that you’re compromising with them. There’s nothing wrong with letting them have some fun and get away from their stressful times too.
Saving for the future is something that makes being married so much fun — you are on each other’s team, always. Debt doesn’t have to be bad debt either — all debt with purpose tends to be good debt, especially when you can pay it off quickly.
Why not have a good conversation with your spouse? Once you find yourselves on the same page financially, you’ll truly be glad that you did!