Settling Into Blended Finances

Coach Suzanne details the life of a modern family. Being remarried involves a lot of blending; finances, child rearing and so much more.

Opposites Attract or Do They?

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Are you a spender and your significant other a saver? Whether you are getting married for the first or second time there is chance you and your spouse will not be on the same page. This is definitely true for my husband and I. I am the saver my husband is the spender; with little experience on handling finances. Getting on the same page was not easy for us, as I am sure it isn't for many of you. 

The problem with opposition when handling finances is that this can cause several problems in your marriage. If one spouse is constantly making purchases while the other is pinching pennies, you may soon find you are headed for divorce court. The key to any good relationship is communication and this definitely applies to your finances. 

Take some time in the early stages of your relationship to find out where you and your spouse stand on finances; specifically ask the question are you a spender or a saver? If you are both savers-great! You will have an easier time building your nest egg, saving for a down payment on your first house, and ensuring your retirement years are comfortable. If you are both spenders you may find there is no balance and you are often in the red at the end of the month. If one is a saver and one is a spender, some of the below situations may occur. 

  • Finances 1st?  Letting your finances rule your marriage puts you in an awkward position from the start. Take control in the beginning of your marriage and decide how you will handle your finances. Disclose your current financial situation with your partner as well as your attitudes towards money. Getting on the same page with your finances will lead to success in other areas of your marriage. 
  • Blame & Shame.  So your spouse, the spender, went out and bought a flat screen TV with all the bells and whistles. Of course along with the TV came a $4500 credit card bill. The saver feels violated, because as they try to save for the future the spender is thinking of the here and now. The spender is ashamed because they were blamed for something they thought the saver would enjoy.  This is what happens when there is a communication breakdown, causing finances to rule your relationship. Here's what should have happened. The spender should have consulted the saver and maybe they could have come to a compromise, again communication is key!
  • Ignorance is not bliss.   Learning to manage debt as a couple can strengthen your marriage and help to build trust. While it is easier to pretend financial troubles don't exist, it is important to discuss them and develop a plan of attack. This should include your individual attitudes about debt, changing your spending habits, and developing a budget. Remember you are in this together for better or worse. 

So what do you think? Do opposites attract? I say yes! My husband and I are complete opposites in many areas, even our finances. But communicating and understanding each other's personal needs and values goes a long way in keeping my husband and I happily remarried to each other!

If you are interested in finding out more about communicating with your new spouse check out the Newlywed Online conference.

*In lieu of compensation we are donating the proceeds from this conference to the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center a non-profit that we proudly support.

  • Take some time to ask your spouse the following questions-and answer them yourself. You'll find overcoming your debt (or your partner's) is easier with a little communication.

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