We are all guilty of making mistakes, but some money habits need to be fixed sooner rather than later. These are actions and choices that not only put your finances in trouble, it can hurt your relationship.
Letting Your Spouse Handle ALL the Finances
I know that there is usually one person who seems more interested in the number crunching, budgeting, and investing portion of finances. We all have strengths and go ahead let someone do what they enjoy. However that does not mean that the other spouse is left in the complete dark or has no say.
This toxic money habit leaves the family weakened because one spouse doesn’t have vital information.
You may not like to budget, but you should have input with how you spend your money. You can not leave all the responsibility in one person’s hand, it’s not fair to either spouse.
Should something happen to the one managing the money, then where will that leave the other? Both of you are responsible and both of you have a say.
Financial Say is Based on Income
This is related to the first bad money habit, but it’s own special mess. Couples are unique and each family has their own financial situation. sometimes both spouses work outside the home, perhaps one or more are self-employed , or maybe one spouse works for income while the other manages the home and children.
Some couples grant financial say based on income earned. This harmful money habit can lead to resentment and that can erode your relationship.
Each couple has to decide what works best for them, but what should be an agreement in all these situations is that both spouses have a say. If one spouse earns less or is a stay at home parent, they still have input and it is not proportional to their income.
Not Having Regular Money Chat
You don’t have to a chat every week, but you should be on the same page and aware of what’s going on. For some couples, it’s once a month, just looking at the numbers.
It can be uncomfortable because at some point you will hit bumps on the road. No one likes taking about problems, but avoiding it will only lead to bigger ones.
Start off simple – do a money chat about your goals for this year and a few years down. Let it at that. Come back a few days later and look at your current situation. Talk about how you want to get to your dream based on where you two are today.
Thoughts on Breaking Bad Money Habits
I think as you can see above, the root of these bad money habits is based on lack of communication, trust, and respect. We all have to work to keep our marriages strong and our finances on target. I’d love to hear from you about what you think are bad money habits and what can be done to break them.
Photo Credit: Steve Wampler