Money Secrets?: Spill the Beans

There’s a reason it’s called ‘personal’ finance.  How you spend your money is personal. You choose what you buy.  You choose what is too expensive and what is not.  When a couple joins their hearts together in marriage they bring their money issues into the marriage as well.  Sometimes the ‘personal’ issues of money are not addressed until much later in the relationship.  This can create tremendous stress on a marriage.  While we all have made money mistakes, some issues (debt) are just better left alone, right? NO.

The time to address the money issues you brought into the marriage is now.  Money fights are the number one reason for divorce in this country.  You may wonder if your partner will remain with you after telling the truth.  I can’t answer that.  I do know that honesty is a very foundational value in marriage.  Being truthful establishes trust.  Trust must be present for a marriage to survive.  Maybe you’ve incurred a lot of debt after you got married.  Are you and your spouse fully aware of the debt load you have created?  Below are 3 benefits of being completey honest about your debt.

1) Complete Awareness.  It was years into my marriage before I sat down and looked at all that we owed.  It was a wake up call for me.  Knowing how much I owed brought home the fact that there was a need for change.

2) The Urgency for Change.  Once you know what the full scope of the problem, you can then begin to see the need for change.  You may acknowledge for the first time your financial train is headed for disaster.  You may first begin to see that it’s time to chart another course.  It’s time to read and heed those warning signs.

3) Confront Denial.  It is so easy to spend money and not know where it goes.  You swipe the card and go on home with your purchases.  You are like a kid in a candy store.  You will not be deprived of what you want.  Behaving like there is no tomorrow does have its consequences.  The purpose of this post is for you to address your denial now.  Assess the damage and make a new plan for the future.

4 Questions to Answer TOGETHER.

1) What do we owe?  This may take a few days and several conversation.  Get out paper and pencil and write out every debt you owe. List it by name, current balance, interest rate, monthly payment.  This is a list of every loan and credit card balance that you have.

2) Are we happy with it? When you look at what you owe are you comfortable?  Is the plan you have for eliminating debt working?  Do you lose sleep thinking about your debt?  These questions can help you determine if you need to stick to your current plan or devise a new one.

3) Do we see the need for change?  Does knowing all that you owe make you angry? resentful? regretful?  If  you’re having strong emotions it’s probably time to make some changes.

4) What change can we start now?  This  a critical question.  Maybe you need to chop the fat from your budget.  Do you “have to” eat out so much? Do you “have to” have Starbucks three times a week?  Do you “have to” eat out for lunch everyday?  Saying no to a few things can free up money to be directed toward your debt. 

Complete honesty is critical when it comes to marriage and money. I hope the words I shared today will help you and your partner to have a higher trust level.  More trust in marriage results in more stability. Good luck!


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