Managing a successful marriage requires far more hard work and dedication than many people make it seem. While it’s a joyous and beautiful thing, marriages take time and effort to continue thriving. Of course, many components make up a healthy and successful marriage. From good communication and planning, to open and honest conversations, many things can help enhance your marriage’s success.
Specifically, when it comes to managing money, things can get tricky pretty quickly. Almost everything in life revolves around money. An unclear approach to how you and your spouse will manage money can lead to arguments or disagreements. Want to avoid this? Keep reading to learn some helpful tips and information to help you and your spouse prepare to manage money successfully in your marriage.
Understanding the Acronym
As the title of this article suggests, some financial advisors recommend that couples learn the “3 M’s managing money successfully in a marriage. Remember, every couple will have unique financial situations and needs. However, this basic acronym is designed to help couples remember the three most important components of managing money.
Note: Some versions of this acronym may replace the “M” with different words. Choose whatever version works best for you, or make your acronym the 5 “M”s of managing money if you need!
Below, we’ll explore the 3 “M”s of managing money as it relates to marriages.
Managing Your Money
The first of the three “M”s in this acronym for financial success is titled Manage or Management. Money management is not a one-time task. It’s a job that is never truly completed. You’ll always need to continually manage your money with your partner to stay on pace. However, before you can get started, there are a few baseline things you must complete.
First, you and your partner need to start by creating a realistic and practical budget as a team. If you’ve joined finances with your spouse, this budget is a way to ensure all of your expenses are allotted and that each partner has a clear idea of the financial situation. In creating your budget as a couple, creating SMART goals is a good place to start. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. (that’s right, another acronym!)
When creating your SMART goals, this is your and your partner’s time to discuss things that are important to you. This includes spending and saving habits, rules for discussing purchases, and more. For many couples, this is a great time to consider the idea of a prenuptial agreement. Before you get married, you and your partner can create an easy, legal agreement that protects both parties if a divorce occurs. While it may be difficult, preparing for a divorce in advance is the best way to ensure your assets are fairly distributed, and within your control.
Want to learn more about how to create an easy prenup before your wedding? Check out HelloPrenup’s easy, online prenup platform. HelloPrenup offers fast and affordable prenuptial agreements for the modern couple. In addition, we offer tons of informational guides to help guide your process. Want to make sure your prenup is written fairly? Check out these tips to ensure your prenup is fair!
Monitoring your Money
Monitoring is the next “M” of the 3 M’s to managing money for a successful marriage. Monitoring can look quite different from couple to couple. What works for one couple may not work for another. However you and your partner decide to monitor money, make sure you’re both on the same page. Perhaps this means scheduling a bi-weekly or monthly check-in, where you both sit down and square up on the current financial situation. For others, this could be designating one partner to do the bills, while another takes on another role.
Some couples wish to use a financial planner or an advisor to help them manage their finances. Whether you want to do this before marriage to help create a budget or want periodic check-ins, this can be a great idea. If you can put financial planner fees within your budget, you’ll reap the benefits of a financially successful marriage.
Can’t afford a financial planner? Don’t fret! Monitoring your money and finances with your partner doesn’t necessarily have to be that complicated. In some cases, monitoring can look like open communication. You’ll find that every component of a successful marriage seems to always come back to communication.
Multiplying your Money
When making decisions about how to spend money or invest, both partners need clear communication. Often, problems in marriages can arise when one person takes too much control over the decision-making, leaving the other with no control. If you have many assets or financial holdings, creating a prenup can help ensure one partner cannot take too much control over financial ventures.
As a couple, multiplying your money to set you both up for success must be a mutually beneficial agreement. One topic that comes up frequently is planning and saving for retirement. It can be difficult to want to stash money away for a future version of yourself. However, you know you want to stop working at some point.
When determining how to multiply your money, you and your partner should put a plan in place that works for both of you. This includes determining allocations for retirement savings and other future needs. In addition, if your budget allows, you may wish to get involved in other ventures to help you grow and multiply your money. This includes stocks, investments, real estate, and other financial ventures.
Successful Money Management in Marriage
In conclusion, if there’s one thing to remember, it’s that communication is always the key to success in marriage. Whether you’re talking about financial matters or not, it’s important to stay on the same page with your partner.
A prenuptial agreement is one way to get you and your partner off to a good start. During your prenup discussions, you and your partner can connect and become closer, learning more about each other’s future goals and desires. While many people mislabel prenups as “bound to fail marriages”, this is far from the truth. Many successful marriages begin with a prenup, helping both parties come together with clear minds.
Through a prenup discussion, you and your partner can discuss differing views on money management and how to address them. Rather than waiting until you’ve already married, you’ll learn more about your fiance beforehand. In turn, this can set you up for greater marriage success!
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].