A recent article indicated that couples who argue about finances more than three times a month are 30 percent more likely to divorce. What can someone do now to prepare for this so that they can have a better more fruitful relationship? Let's talk about 3 different ways to avoid money getting in the way of your relationship.
1. Make your money disappear
When I first starting dating my wife, some of her family was very hesitant to her and I getting married. I remember when I first met my wife's brother, he was shocked to see that I was driving around a brand new, straight off the lot, 6 miles when I got it, Honda Civic. (Long story why, if you want to know email me.) At first I felt really upset and insecure about it, but as I began thinking about it and looking at the income I had, I realized I could not only afford the car, but I could save to pay it off.
The first thing I did was look for a bank outside of the bank that holds my checking account and receives my paychecks. Then, I set up my account to withdraw a specific amount of money (I started with $50) on the day I receive EVERY PAYCHECK. After I did that a few months, I realized I could save more and so I raised the amount I saved every paycheck. Because I had the money going to another account, I forgot I had the money because I didn't see it. Before I knew it, I had saved around $3000. Now my wife and I have been able to payoff my car, and have no debt. We set a goal together, and reached it together. That brings us to principle number 2.
2. Set financial goals
Guess what guys?! You can apply sports to your relationships! Have you ever been on a team that practices a specific play over and over and then when it comes time to execute the play is successful? How pumped up do you feel? Great, right? Every player does their role, and the play works. The same can be applied to setting financial goals. You create a budget and a savings goal (your play) and then you execute it. When you succeed, imagine the stress that could be there financially in your mind shouts for you! Woohoo! Go you!
3. Talk about it, don't just buy it
When you want to go and purchase that new flat screen with surround sound, do not go buy it. Look at the what, why, and whether. Talk about what the purchase is, why you want to buy it, and whether you can afford it right now. If you can't afford it right now, then have the humility to admit that. Go back to step 2 and how you can set goals and if you don't know how you can save, go back to step 1.
Oh, and one more note - don't talk about these things late at night. Always be sure you're both well awake and alert. It helps the conversation go more smoothly.