SAN ANTONIO - Lots of couples argue about money. They disagree over how to spend, save and pay off debt. Certified financial planner Rick Rodgers says the secret is good money communication. Click here to watch...
In his new book, The New Three-legged Stool
, he gives couples a game plan for their finances. Whether you are just thinking about getting married or have been together for a long time, it can help guide you.
Here are a few tips from Rodgers.
Three tips for better money communication
1. Agree in writing – Live by a budget
2. Have a regular budget meeting at least monthly to discuss finances
3. Allocate “mad money” in the budget for each spouse. Money each can spend without be accountable to the other.
How to decide who should be in charge of the checkbook?
Studies have found that less than two out of 10 couples know how to actually balance their checkbooks. This means that many married couples seldom know how much money they have to spend or how much they are spending. There should be only one bookkeeper in the home who pays the bills and that should be the one that is best at handling finances. Both spouses decide what the budget should be and then one is in charge of implementing it.
Five ways to solve money issues in your relationship
1. Get help - Seeking counsel for marriage or financial problems should be as normal as seeking medical counsel.
2. Set goals - husband and wife together must establish specific goals. Sound financial planning involves two people, seeking mutually compatible goals.
3. Make it fun - Plan a weekend together (alone, no kids) when every aspect of the family’s finances can be discussed.
4. Acknowledge strengths & weaknesses - Recognize that being different is not being inferior. It takes two people working as one to succeed in the home. A concerted effort must be made to use their gifts and abilities each of you have.
5. Absolute Honesty – Hiding money problems, deceiving your spouse about money spent, misrepresenting anexpenditure are all examples of dishonesty. Trust in one another is a necessity to achieve financial peace in your relationship.
Joint bank account or separate – which is best?
One joint checking account is certainly the simplest and most logical approach. But it may not be best for all situations.
The One-Two method – One joint checking plus each spouse keeps an individual account. A budget is established for most household expenses and each spouse is required to make a deposit to the joint account based on their pro-rata share of the household expenses. Individual expenses such as credit cards or other obligations are paid from the spouse’s personal account.