Valentine's Day comes this week; a day where couples show their love through lavish (and simple) gifts, flowers, candy and romantic dinners. While this may be an opportune time to show how much a relationship is to a person, grand gestures may end up backfiring when a couple encounters money troubles soon afterwards.
Fortunately, love is more about trust, honor and respect than it is about money. However, financial problems are the number one reason behind divorces; even more than problems over child-rearing and infidelity. Because of that, it is important that couples take time to talk about common money issues before they overtake a marriage.
Here are a couple of pointers:
Use apps to stay informed - A common issue between married couples is communicating about purchases from joint accounts. Today, many smart phone applications can help couples stay in the loop regarding money leaving an account. Apps like Cupple and Avocado can be used to create private mobile chats so that no one else will know about your financial planning. They can also be used to share expenses and coordinate shopping needs.
Work together on a budget - An old lawmaking adage says "budgeting is like making sausage...you don't want to know what goes into it, it just has to taste good." The same goes with working on a budget with your spouse. It takes a lot of work, and unfortunately some arm twisting, but you ultimately can work on a plan that can help stave off debt.
If these plans don't work, or if your spouse refuses to work with you on a financial plan, perhaps it may be time to talk with an attorney.
Source: UT SanDiego.com, For love and money, February 8, 2013