It’s time to talk about big financial decisions. Are you sweating yet?
Are we here to talk about:
Buying a home? No.
Starting a savings account? No.
Investing for retirement? Wrong again.
The single most important financial decision you’ll ever make is your spouse.
The reason this is more important than every other decision you’ll make is because their opinion matters. They have sway over every financial decision you’ll make. You are also affected by the financial faux pas they make and the successes they have.
I’m not just talking about their potential for earning money. I’m talking about how they view money. How they spend, save, splurge, and hoard their money. Do they invest? Will you want to invest in the same things as them? Do they have a spending problem? Will they agree with your views on money and agree to abide by a pre-agreed set rules?
These questions are vitally important. Money issues in a marriage are among the worst that couples fight over. Marriages exist where one spouse is a spender, and the other is a saver. This causes high amounts of stress and anxiety on both sides.
Marriages also exist in which both partners are on the same page. Sometimes you have two spenders who are in debt up to their hairlines, but still spending it as fast as they can. Then you’ll also find the couples who both have a passion for frugality and prudence. You want to find someone who is like minded, and someone that will encourage you to be savvy and responsible.
I can say that I have a marriage in which we both share the same views on money. Jacob is the most frugal person I have ever met. He is exceptionally good at saving money. I started off pretty frugal, learned some hard lessons along the way, and am now on the exact same page as him concerning money.
A reader, E.M., has asked us how we make financial decisions as a couple. I thought this was a great question! So, if you are looking for a spouse or are evaluating whether your current other half is long term material, we hope this helps you sort it out! If you are married to a spender and you are a saver, we hope this helps you win them to your way of thinking!
Most every decision you make in life has to do with money. I’m serious. Just think about it. Everything you do costs money. Even staying at home for the evening costs you money in electric, gas, and water costs. Therefore, before Jacob and I do anything, we consider the cost. We rarely just go out and about on a whim without thinking what errands we can run along the way and evaluating if the gas money is worth the trip.
The most integral aspect of buying anything is RESEARCH. A lot of research goes into buying anything from a camera to a mobile home to weekly groceries. Before we bought our nice camera, we did research individually, and then more when we were together. Before we bought our mobile home, Jacob spent hours upon hours reading about the costs of owning a mobile home versus renting.
Before Purchasing Anything, We:
- See if we can get it free on Freecycle.
- Consider if there is a good chance of finding the item at a thrift store or garage sale for a reduced price before buying retail.
- Check if we can find it used on Craigslist.
- Check if we can find it cheaper at Walmart or Amazon before proceeding with a purchase.
We have already explained our processes of how to save money on groceries, cable, and cell phones. We are in agreement on what items we need and don’t need (except for dark chocolate. I think it’s a need, he says it’s a want…whatever.) Most of our money decisions are fairly easy because we have the same mentality, which is: Find it for free or really cheap and avoid retail prices as much as possible.
Because our mentalities align with one another, our finances are a source of excitement as we work toward the future. For this reason, I think that it is vitally important to choose a spouse that is going to partner with you in building a solid financial future together. If you have any doubts about how finances will affect your marriage, read Frugal Marriage Tips– an investigation into the relationship between happiness, marriage, and debt.
If you’re not married and looking for a life partner, don’t put this issue on the back burner. And if you are already married and money is a sore spot in your marriage, you should work to fix the issue. Have open discussions about how to allocate your money and find agreements regarding how to spend, save, and invest money.