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Marriage and Money Advice for Newlyweds

Posted By Lynnae On 03/10/2008 @ 2:28 pm In Personal Finance | 16 Comments

Since Jim is newly married and off on his honeymoon, I thought I’d take the time to focus on marriage and money. I’ve been married almost 13 years, and though my husband and I don’t argue about money much these days, there are a few things I wish I would have realized at the beginning of my marriage. It would have made the first few years a lot easier.

Your Priorities Will Be Different

This one seems obvious, but it’s often not to newly married couples. Too often couples get married and expect to agree on most things. Sometimes the difference is dramatic. The wife wants to buy a whole new wardrobe every season, while the husband wants to sock away lots of money for retirement. Or it might be more subtle. The husband might have a Star Wars collection that the wife just doesn’t understand.

Whatever the difference, it’s important to discuss things calmly and compromise. Putting away money for retirement is obviously very important, but if your wife is feeling strangled, because you complain every time she buys a new skirt, you’re headed for trouble. Realize your spouse’s priorities and compromise on those things.

A good example of this is Gibble, who recently bought his wife a new engagement ring [3] after the original ring was lost. Yes, the money could have been used for debt repayment, but this was very important to his wife, and I think he made a wise choice.

Good Communication is Key

Talk and talk often. As the years go on, individuals change and grow. Priorities change. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open, so you are always on the same page with the finances. By talking about little issues as they come up, you can avoid the big all out fights that seem to happen when an issue festers and isn’t dealt with right away.

My husband loves sports. If it were up to him, we’d have every seasonal sports package on our satellite subscription, he’d subscribe to all the big sports magazines, and we’d have satellite radio, so he could listen to every game he wanted to in the car. That’s not going to happen.

Still, there are plenty of times when my husband comes home with a Fantasy Football magazine, or a NASCAR publication. I don’t understand the need to buy the magazines, because you can get all the information online. However, since I’m constantly in communication with my husband, I realize that this is how he relaxes. Knowing that, it’s much easier to just let the spending slide as long as it’s not out of control.

Be Honest

There will be a time when one of you does something financially stupid that you don’t want to ‘fess up to. Here’s my advice. Come clean. Right away. Trust and honesty are much more important in a marriage than saving face [4]. It might be a difficult conversation, but in the long run, your willingness to be honest with your spouse will pay big dividends.

For the Men: Allow Your Wife to Buy Pretty Things

I know a lot of men think pretty clothes and soft throw pillows for the couch are a waste of money. But for a woman, these things make her feel feminine. You will have a much happier wife if you allow her these little indulgences [5]. And if you allow her to indulge herself, she’s a lot less likely to complain when you buy the sports magazines.

For the Women: Respect Your Man

There may be times when your husband’s career doesn’t go as planned. He may even lose his job at some point. Nobody plans for these things when they get married, but little hiccups in the career are a part of life.

If your husband is discouraged on his job, you need to be extra encouraging at home [6]. According to my husband, there’s nothing worse than feeling like a failure on the job, only to come home and feel like a failure with your wife. When your husband’s job isn’t going well, if you continue to support him, it will boost his morale and help him stay motivated to find a better job. He will also never forget that you stood by his side in the trenches of life.

Keep communicating, be understanding, and remember you are on the same team. That’s what it all comes down to.

Congratulations Jim and Mrs. Jim! I hope you have a wonderful time on your honeymoon!

This is a guest post by Lynnae of Being Frugal.net [7], a blog about frugal living and paying off debt. If you like this post (and I trust you will), subscribe to Lynnae’s blog via RSS [8] or email [9], you will not be disappointed.


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/marriage-and-money-advice-for-newlyweds.html

[3] bought his wife a new engagement ring: http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2008/02/25/save-money-buy-an-engagement-ring-online/

[4] Trust and honesty are much more important in a marriage than saving face: http://beingfrugal.net/2007/09/07/do-you-keep-secrets-from-your-spouse/

[5] You will have a much happier wife if you allow her these little indulgences: http://beingfrugal.net/2008/02/08/marriage-and-money/

[6] you need to be extra encouraging at home: http://beingfrugal.net/2007/10/18/what-to-do-when-you-lose-your-income/

[7] Being Frugal.net: http://beingfrugal.net/

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