January 17, 2022

Couple Finances

Cheerful Loving Young Couple Using Laptop and Analyzing Finances

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What’s the best way to handle finances as a couple? This is the fifth episode of a series on Getting Ready for Marriage. ​In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses the importance of being on the same page with your couple finances. 

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY:

  • Three ways of handling couple finances
  • Decision making around money
  • Being on the same page with budgeting
Millennial Couple Managing Personal Finances Together

MAIN POINTS:​

1. Why I am doing this series on Getting Ready for Marriage:

It’s wedding season now and I had a wedding photographer reach out to me asking me to provide some tips for couples getting married. I created an entire checklist for her with the things I think are foundational for getting ready for marriage and starting off your marriage on the right foot. If you want the checklist, you can download it here!

2. Research on couples and money: 

According to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions:

  • Money fights are the second leading cause of divorce (behind infidelity).
  • High levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes of financial stress. 
  • ​The more debt couples had, the more they fought about money. 
  • Couples with over $50,000 in debt said money was one of the main things they fought about. 
  • Those with “great” marriages where twice as likely to talk about money daily or weekly compared to those with “okay” marriages. 

Transparency is one of the biggest skills needed for marriage.”

Elizabeth Polinsky
Couple Doing Taxes And Family Budget

3. Three ways of handling money: 

You could do joint accounts, separate accounts, a mixture. I recommend at least one joint account for military couples. If you have separate accounts, consider putting a percentage or specific amount into a joint account. If you start off with a joint account; maybe consider having an amount or percentage to use for personal use. Generally good to have a mixture in case you want to get a surprise gift or something just for yourself while still making finances a team effort. 

4. Decide on a budget together: 

  • You both may have different spending and saving styles. This is something to discuss when you are determining your relationship values (see episode 24). It’s important to decide together how you want to prioritize saving, spending, and investing etc. 
  • ​Discuss how much you can spend before it should be a discussion as a couple. Is it $20, $100, $1000?
  • Make balancing the budget part of your monthly check in meetings (see episode 23 on marriage meetings).
    1. This helps there be transparency between the two of you 
    2. It also helps you work together toward financial goals
    3. Keeps you on track as a couple regarding cash flow
    4. Allows you to jointly decide when to modify financial priorities as life circumstances change–such as when buying a house, moving, having kids, etc. 

Action Steps: Make a budget together. If you want a template to use, you can download one here!

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.

Thanks for listening!

     

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

    DISCLAIMER:

    My podcast, blogs, videos, newsletters, and products are general information for educational purposes only; they are not psychotherapy and not a replacement for therapy. The information provided is not intended to be therapy or psychological advice; and nothing I post should be considered professional advice. The information provided does not constitute the formation of a therapist-patient relationship.

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