Shaping up your finances is crucial as a couple enters marriage. Marriage is a time when a couple often funds the purchase of their first home, vehicles and establishes savings account. “What’s mine is yours” just doesn’t apply to personal effects, it applies to the debt that each couple enters the relationship with.
As a couple, it is important to communicate about debt before the marriage is entered into. Listing the debt can help each partner to come up with a repayment plan while preserving the credit rating so a home, vehicle and other assets can be purchased.
Listing the debt will allow the couple to create an effective repayment plan. The repayment plan should include a maximum fifteen percent of the couple’s net income – any more than this could lead to return of old spending habits and the reliance on credit to cover daily expenses.
After a debt repayment schedule has been created it is important to divvy up the responsibility. To reduce tension, each partner should contribute equally to the debt repayment plan, with common goals in sight. By creating a list of the most expensive debt, (using the balance multiplied by the interest rate), it is important to work together to reach those zero balances.
It can be difficult to adjust to life together as a couple. Being accountable for spending is an important part of getting out of debt. Reducing your spending habits is important, until the debt has been paid off. Finding low cost activities that allow the couple to spend time together, without spending a ton of money is a crucial way to strengthen the relationship.
Get on the same page about money. If the couple isn’t on the same page, than communication is at risk in the relationship. It is important to share financial decisions, regardless of who earns what within the relationship. Decisions should be discussed in depth, with all possible options being considered. The chief money earner in the relationship should not be associated with the control over their finances.
Money can come between relationships in an instant; therefore it is important to plan accordingly to deal with debt. Creating an effective repayment plan can reduce the stress that is felt on the couple through these troubled economic times.
It is important to remember that each member of the marriage or relationships enters the relationship with financial experience, habits and past money issues. It is important to realise which aspects that your partner are willing to adapt, and which ideas are non negotiable. Communication is crucial for couples dealing with debt.