In an age where studies reveal millennial couples are more likely to talk about money than ever, there should be no problem in merging marriage and finances. Right?
And yet, even with these facts, research shows that fights about money are still one of the most repetitive and salient argument topics between married couples.
So how can you make sure that you have a happy married life both financially and emotionally? First, couples need to be comfortable enough to talk about money matters. Second, they must be willing to put in the effort of saving small now in order to reap big outcomes in the future.
At the end of the day, only you and your spouse can make budgeting and saving work in your household. If you make your finances a priority, your marriage will be richly rewarded. Here’s how.
1. Start Planning Your Future
Marriage is all about communication, compromise, and of course, sharing your lives together.
Part of sharing your lives is making plans and setting goals for your future together. Here are just a few ways saving can bring big happiness to the future of your relationship.
- Save for a house
Having a large down money to put down on a house is the ideal situation for first time buyers. Not only will your lump sum help your negotiating power, but it will also improve your interest rates and make your payments more affordable.
- Family planning
Saving money will take the stress out of family planning. As of 2017, the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years of age came in at a whopping $233,610. And that’s only for one child. Furthermore, the average medical cost to deliver a baby in the United States is $8,775 and $11,525 for vaginal and Caesarean births, respectively.
If you plan on starting a family with your spouse, saving money is definitely going to be on your to-do list.
- Buying a car
If you don’t own a car, buying one is probably one of your newlywed goals. Similar to buying a house, having a healthy savings in your bank account will help you get a better loan with lower interest rates on a new car.
Save for Retirement
Marriage and finances are all about learning how to plan for the future together. One thing you’ll definitely want to start saving for is your retirement.
If you’re like the rest of the world, odds are you do not want to be working until you’re dead. Lighten the load or retire at 65 by taking the steps to save for retirement now.
It is recommended that you save at least 10 to 15% of your gross income or match your employer’s contribution in order to have a successful retirement fund. The more savings you create, the more interest you’ll be making on your money.
2. Lower Stress Levels
There is no doubt that finances, or lack thereof, can put a strain on a marriage. Wondering where your next paycheck is coming from, how bills are getting paid, and what you’re going to have for groceries for the week are all important parts of life. Not knowing where the money is coming from to get these things can make you feel irritated, anxious, resentful, or withdrawn from your spouse.
When you handle marriage and finance together as a couple, you’ll feel more secure in your relationship and your financial standing. This will reduce unnecessary stress and give you and your spouse more time to focus on what’s really important- each other.
3. Plan for the Unexpected
Another way you can contribute to a happy married life by saving money is by having an emergency fund set aside for when the unexpected happens.
No matter how well you plan your financial, emotional, or physical future, life has a way of throwing curve balls your way. Sudden illness, car accident, loss of job, pregnancy, or natural disaster can all take a huge bite out of your finances. Any one of these issues can send your bank account negative and put stress on your marriage.
By having an emergency fund put aside, you’ll have peace of mind when something unexpected comes your way.
It is wise to set aside and save anywhere from six to 12 months worth of your income into an emergency fund. This should be enough to cover you during an unforeseen occurrence.
This may sound like a lot of money, but with both you and your spouse adding to the fund, you’ll be able to reach it over time – and you’ll be glad you did.
4. Creates Opportunities
Another way that saving small over time contributes to a happy married life is by way of opportunity.
By having money set aside each month, you afford you and your partner the opportunity to do new things in life.
Travel. No more putting yourselves into debt and racking up your credit cards in order to take that romantic vacation. By responsibly planning ahead and saving over time, you and your partner can plan your dream getaway without worry.
School. If you have money saved, you or your spouse afford yourselves the opportunity to change careers. Perhaps you could use your money to go back to school and study something new.
Date night. Studies show that spending quality time alone with your partner each and every week can contribute to happy married life. Research proves that a regular date night improves a couple’s communication skills and prevents relationship boredom.
Merging marriage and finance isn’t always easy, but the benefits outweigh the struggles. Saving small means that one way you can buy a house, plan to start a family, and have a nice chunk of change put away for your eventual retirement. Once you get your finances in order, happy married life is just around the corner.