Improve Your Financial Health For Your Future Spouse


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got married last weekend.

After the economic crisis many of us had to cut back on our spending habits and learn to live on less. During that time, many looked to financial planners or popular financial books to help them reach their goals. Others tried the many online tips that promised a brighter financial future.

As singles, we are in charge of our own finances. We can decide whether to splurge on ice cream sundaes or a trip to Paris. But once you decide to get married, the house rules change.

There are many money questions for the newly married to consider. Do we spend or save? Use a financial planner or budget ourselves? Create a joint checking account or keep our finances separate? Financial questions can create friction in a marriage. In fact, several studies show that couples argue about finances more than anything else. That’s not to mention the stress that comes from bringing debt into a marriage.

Finances can be difficult to talk about in any relationship, but as fellow CatholicMatch blogger Lisa Duffy said, money is a part of life.

“Growing old together is beautiful, but it does mean retirement, and that requires savings and investments. And anyone who has been married before understands full well the role money plays in creating tension between spouses. So why don’t we just talk about it?

Whether you’re on the brink of a proposal or just starting your journey on CatholicMatch, take ownership of your financial situation so that when the time comes, you can intelligently discuss your income, goals and retirement plan with your soon-to-be husband or wife.

Here are a few tips from financial experts to easily improve your financial health right now:

  • Grow your emergency fund
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Put 10% of your income toward retirement
  • Track your spending
  • Envision your future
  • Improve your credit score
  • Live below your means

CatholicMatchers, have finances been a stressor in any of your past relationships? How will you approach your next relationship differently?






13 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 October 26, 2012

    How does one’s financial status affect a woman’s view of a potential mate? Comment on the levels of financial status would be most helpful, to-wit: scraping by, doing ok, comfortable with some discretionary income, very comfortable with no debt, and, of course, very, very secure financially.

  2. Lesley-158563 October 27, 2012

    This is really worth reading in its entirety, included the New York Times piece that is cited.

  3. Tim-307635 October 28, 2012

    There are some great ideas in this article, especially living within one’s means. Some time ago, Thomas Stanley wrote “The Millionaire Next Door” in which he explained how people live in their efforts to become, and remain, millionaires. For example, they don’t drive cars such as BMWs, but rather Honda Civics. His point is that the actions you take today can improve your quality of life tomorrow.

    • Andrew-467 November 1, 2012

      Actually, that book states that most of those millionaire next door types by used cars or cars by the pound, rather than via retail dealers, etc.

      A new Honda Civic would be too expensive by that standard; in fact any new car would be too expensive. And most used cars would fit in the same category. Think government auctions.

  4. I do have a lot of student loan debt and hope it isn’t a deal breaker :(

  5. Vic-745458 November 1, 2012

    Always living beneath one’s means is the best single piece of financial advice one can give (and pracatice). Once accustomed to doing so, it quickly becomes habit and allows one to save both painlessly and automatically.

    • Andrew-467 November 1, 2012

      Actually, it becomes addictive. In fact, I think I now have a neurosis…its very hard for me to actually spend money on anything that isn’t a necessity.

  6. Jeann-850705 November 5, 2012

    hhhhhh

  7. Jeann-850705 November 5, 2012

    I always be independent. I only depended on God my maker. I might have inherited that. Since my teenager years, I have been managing myself financially. I do not like to ask. In particular when it comes for family money. I stayed away for many of my siblings for many years for this reason. Today, just this afternoon, one of my half sister called, this is the second or third time for 24 years that we spoke. I stretched myself to live even to suffer to survive. I do not like people who always think that people come close to them because they want to use their money. They have premarital agreements for this purpose. I was working 10 to 12 hours before. I live with the minimum. I do not possess car for this reason. Car has been donated to me before & I refused to take it; till today the person does not understand why I did not take their offer since I did not have a car. Of course I do have my driving license & I am giving this example among many concerning material things. I try to live with my own means and not go beyond. I was using less my credits cards, just lately (the last 13 months) I have to use more than before because of some situations that I am facing & I am not in control of that. I believe that the Lord will bring me back to where I belong to. I do not like people who think that everybody who approaches them, it is because of what they have. What do they have anyway? Money? Let me help you, I believe you know that very well, premarital agreements between spouses. In this way you do not have to let yourself or your friends stop your decisions because of that. I am praying to God to give me good health in order to be able to earn my own income. The last time I really shopped for myself, I do not know when, not less than 2 years. I know how to restrain myself. I do not do too much for myself, just to have to manage myself. When possible, I will go to update my skills. No man money has fed me in my life. I do not like to live day by day and also want to be secure for my retirement. Any one who advise anybody that woman is after them because of their money, perhaps their own mothers were with their fathers because of that. Not me.
    Thank you,

  8. Jeann-850705 November 5, 2012

    “You have prenuptial agreements”, I want to say, not premarital.

  9. Jeann-850705 November 22, 2012

    I have been too much insulted and ridiculed by the man that I though God gave him to me. Enough is enough. If he thinks that his money can do everything, controling and manupilative, I will prove him this time that he is wrong. He is taking his priviledge so far: to buy anybody and using that to buy the amtrack workers & everybody around and airlines to get information about me and to use that against me.I spoke to people who have some knowledge about investigation business and I have been told that he cannot tak advantage of his status to search any thing in my life

  10. Swetha J. June 17, 2013

    Hi Jessica.,
    wonderful post. In general in life I believe, there always has to be a plan-goal to accomplish, without which were is the inspiration to achieve also.
    thanks.
    So glad I found this page. Thanks a ton buddy. Will watch this space for updates.
    Regards.
    Financial Planner Delhi

  11. Swetha J. June 29, 2013

    So glad I found this page. Thanks a ton buddy., many congratulations Jessica.
    Financial Planning in India

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