Financial Literacy For Couples

I have an aunt and uncle who were married many years ago.

The priest told them, in advising them of the respective marital duties, that it was the husband’s task to run the family finances.

This did not work from the start, but they endeavored to abide by the priestly directive.

As long as they could.

Some people just cannot balance a check book.  (Guilty)

Nuts and bolts day to day household finances can be lost in the luster of true love.

For a while.

I have a cousin (hey, big Irish-Catholic family) whose parents put on the big wedding, though Dad had his doubts about prospective son-in-law.

Great guy, but, how come he did not have a job?

Well, the bills started coming to the marital residence.

Over $100,000 of them.

His plan of marrying into money did not work, my cousin bailed.

We have been blogging about financial literacy and children, but, sometimes at least, marriage comes first.

The Christian financial web site has some good financial questions to ask to improve your marriage, but better to go over this stuff BEFORE marriage.

My wife and I started out with a joint account, until she got tired of my poor record keeping, and we have had separate accounts ever since.

No secrets, we just keep our own books.

I am not suggesting this as a hard and fast rule, just something that needs to be worked out, before you start living under the same roof.

Few couples both have the same saving and spending habits.

There is an old saying:  “Men marry women thinking they will stay the same, and women marry men thinking they can change them, and we are all wrong.”

Don’t just assume that your partner will think like you on these issues.

Lots of us just adopt the values and systems we grew up with, maybe not even thinking about them.

“He loves me so much, I am sure it will all work out!” is not a good philosophy of family finance.

Image credit: _rockinfree/Flickr

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