Dealing with Finanicial Issues as a Couple

You’ve probably never really given it much thought, unless you’re among the many people in the world who use credit cards to survive.  Are you aware of how many marriages end in divorce because of financial issues?  Most likely, one or the other, buy things for which there is no money.  How?  They charge their credit cards.  They probably have at least 5 or 6 and at least half of them are maxed out.  What’s worse?  They only make minimum payments every month.  This type of debt will haunt you your entire life is this is the way you are living.  So what do you have to do to manage your debt?

There are many different ways to manage your debt, and opinions will vary based on who you speak with.  You can find a lot of different examples of debt elimination on-line.  Most financial advisors will tell you to make a list and pay off the card with the highest interest and then move on down the list.  Others will tell you to pay off the one with the lowest balance first, so you can prove to yourself that you can do it.  There is no right answer.  The bottom line is, pay off your debt using whatever system appeals to you.

If one of you is a saver and the other a spender, you will most likely be looking at a rough road at some point.  Some people who say they love their spouse, but they’re at the end of their ropes, have said they have decided to give their spouses and ultimatum, “Cut Up Your Credit Cards, or I’m leaving!”  Does that sound harsh?  Maybe so, but a lot of people are serious about this ultimatum.  They don’t want to see their credit card ratings fall, and they don’t want to live in constant, ongoing, rising debt because of credit cards.

If you think about it, marriages used to be arranged based on social status, political reasons, or economic reasons.  The recent trend, is to marry for love.  In fact, when you hear somebody talk about marrying for money, you probably feel disgusted and are turned off.  It may not be such a big mistake after all.

Here are some pointers to consider when discussing your financial standing.  Make spending choices as a team; everything from how much to spend at the grocery store each week to how many coffee drinks can be purchased a week.  That may sound silly, but if you buy coffee at a coffee shop several times a week, believe it or not, it affects your finances.  Make a rule not to use any credit card without your spouse knowing it.  Additionally, get rid of every credit card but one and make sure you are both notified of statements, purchases, and payments.

If you are young and are thinking of getting married, be sure to talk about money before you get married.  Talk about how much money you have (or don’t have), how much money you want to have, things you’d like to buy or trips you’d like to take, and when you will retire.  What?  Really?  Yes.  Getting a divorce later in life over money issues can cost you a lot more than all of your credit card debt.  It is essential to get these things in order and understand each other’s financial wants and needs before getting married.

If you or someone you love is having difficulty in their marriage due to money issues, it may be time to speak with a professional.  Reach out to the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County to help you.  Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

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