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How to agree with your Valentine about money
Feb 17, 2013 | 819 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don MILNE
Financial Literacy 
Manager, Zions Bank
Don MILNE Financial Literacy Manager, Zions Bank
slideshow

It’s no surprise to hear that money is the No. 1 cause of arguments in a relationship.

 

Arguing is no fun, so many of us make the mistake of not communicating about money, but that only makes things worse.

You may be looking forward to your next date, sitting at a fancy restaurant table. Well, it’s time to turn the tables. Instead, spend your next date at the kitchen table talking about your budget. 

This unappetizing meeting could be the best date ever because of what you can accomplish. This is a forget-about-dessert-eat-your-vegetables moment. 

Sit down together and calculate how much money your household will make next month. 

Then, allocate how much to spend on housing, food, transportation, utilities and everything else. 

In the unlikely event your budget shows extra money, you still need to tell it what to do. You can add it to your emergency savings or pay off debt. 

Far more likely, you may see you have come up short. 

Isn’t that a main cause of money fights during the month С too much month, not enough money? 

Instead, working together, identify ways to earn more, spend less or sell something. 

You’re not done until your planned expenses match your projected income. Now you have a roadmap that you have both agreed on to follow for the month. Next month, do it again.

This is no time to bring up past mistakes; you are working on the future, not the past.

 Also, if your spouse is reluctant to participate, remind him or her that you two are a team. Teams play to win and teams can’t win on the field if they don’t have a game plan and practice. 

Your monthly budget is your game plan and your practice for spending money each month. No game plan and you lose. Go team!

Want to learn more about couples and money? For a great article on how dealing with money affects marriage, read Bank on It: Thrifty Couples Are the Happiest by USU professor Jeffery Dew. You can find it online at stateofourunions.org/2009/bank_on_it.php.

We want your comments! What advise can you share about coming to agreement about money with your spouse?

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