"TDS: Studies show that money is a common reason for divorce and breakups. How can you tell if you're financially compatible with someone you're dating?" says an article in this week's Dollar Strether.
Is it important to determine before marriage that you can agree on large financial matters? If most fights are over money and money causes divorce then yes. How can you decide before you are sharing money and expenses if you will get along and agree?
The Dollar Stretcher has more about this
before we got married Daddy and his Mother met then he met with them then I came in I was the child of someone who lived during the depression Grandma said he would hold on to a dollar until Washington was bald she ment it I worked for him form the time I was 11 he would pay me only half I did not question him he gave me a car every two years and I had all the money I needed when we marrried he gave me an envelope he gave me the other half of the money and he matched it it was a tidy some ....then we had been married almost a year he gave me my Mothers estate it was quite alot he made the estate a lot of money and with a small part we started our business DH never forgot he tells people all the time we are a family business ... the cows came from Texas and we still have long horns plant peanuts to remind him DH said I keep them to remind me where I come for he said she loves the smell of cow crap in the morning so iwere he came from he and i arennt perfect but we know where our money is and we have a number we can spend with out talking to each other and we dont go over unless it necessary and we keep trying to get each other we met aleast every two weeks to talk about money . having money is as big as not having it ...
Mine is from the other side of perspective. After my folks divorced when I was 5, Mom was fond of saying "You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive. Don't get married without one." Wish I'd listened the first time. My ex and I lived together three months before we married and we were super young...that was a disaster, and money had a big part to do with it. DH and I lived together for 5 years and had joint checking and savings by the time we decided to take some cash out of our tax refund and get married. We have a great relationship and we knew when we applied for the license there wouldn't be any surprises and that we were perfectly compatible.
DH and I are on the same page about money. We talked about it at great length while we were courting and when we got engaged. It was also a big part of our premarital counseling. It was really important to us because we did not want to carry over either of our parents' money habits.
DH's father is extremely frugal, but his mother is a spendthrift. When MIL was a stay at home mom, FIL kept MIL on a household stipend in a separate account and when it was gone, it was gone. When she got a part-time job, that was her mad money and she could do what she wanted with it. FIL paid for everything else - housing, cars, gas, retirement, savings. DH did not like that system at all, even though he understood his father's reasoning, and wanted us to be on all the same accounts and be in agreement about money.
My parents always struggled with money - it was an income problem and less of a frugality problem. My parents had to declare bankruptcy, we lost our home and business at one point, and my mother has worked just about every menial job you can think of. So I never learned to SAVE money, even though I was good at living on very little, because we never had any extra to save. We were constantly short and in debt. So I wanted to make sure I learned to be frugal AND to save.
We also talk at great length about tithing and giving and charity, and we agree on that as well. We follow a monthly budget for the most part, we consult with each other on most purchases, and try to anticipate large expenses far in advance.
Right now we're mostly in snowballing mode rather than savings mode to pay off our student loans, but we live on a fraction of our income and try to put as much money towards our debts as we can. We do not carry any other kind of debt, although we have a credit card we pay off every month for airline/hotel rewards and use them for vacations or visiting our folks. When DH started his law practice, we did it with $500 in cash and have never carried any business debts. Its so freeing to live this way. While going on unpaid leave after our baby will slow our debt snowball quite a bit, we're also grateful that we will be able to afford for me to stay at home for a good long while because we've learned to live on less all these years.
My ex and I divorced over money... i wasnt a spendthrift, but I wasnt a tightwad either. however, he was working 70+ hours a week, making good money, and his business avvount had 6 figures and our personal account combined, had 5 figures easily, before my stroke. we fought constantly about saving, saving, we never did anything as a family, but we had a hefty savings account. he was always working, never home with me and our kids. thew more money he made, the more he wanted. it was just never enough for him. he was never satisfied, with anything.
My boyfriend, Tony and I are way more compatible, we both refuse to payfull price for anything. He wears me out when we go shopping.. we have to hit every single clearance rack and aisle. we get groceries together, he helps me with keeping my lists and coupons together, and organized. our next goal is to eplace all my cfl and incandescent light bulbs with the more expensive LED bulbs. He put up my clothes lin in the garage... thank God he did because a storm took out the one in my backyard... and i miss it...a lot. He's very creative in the kitchen, anf together we've come up with some pretty meals using scraps of leftovers, and a few eggies, or some pastas. We've alreadt talked about if/when we either move in together or get married, we will take care of budgeting, paying bills, etc. together. that was something my ex, and his ex refused to do.
I'm looking forward to sharing our lives together and alost always being on the same page when it comes to money. neither of us wants to become a slave to the money, but we'd like to live comfortably, and enjoy our lives together.
Raised by two miserable people...No respect, no cooperation, one worked 70 hours and did not give in to tit-for-tat and made it as roommates for 50 years now. Dad worked as long as able until arthritis from bad motorcycle accident injuries years prior made it impossible....Mother worked two jobs to stand it. Sibling and I left as soon as able.
DH and I are on the same page. Right now, we have decided that we have enough. We went through a period where we thought we deserved "more" because we worked so hard so we spent, spent, spent. We weren't in debt but we sure didn't have any savings. Now, we have just both realized we are blessed with what we have, we don't "need" more and our money doesn't seem to disappear like it did when I was looking at others with envy or felt entitled to something, etc.
But if we weren't on the same page, things would be more difficult for sure.
We got married relatively young, and didn't discuss finances much. I wish we had! Without going into detail, we went through a severe financial crisis about 3 years ago due to bad decisions and a lack of communication about finances. We're still married (stronger than ever!) and on the same page now, and it feels so good. We both work full-time and make decent money, and we are both very frugal. We discuss every dollar that is spent, go shopping together, pay bills together, etc. There is communication, honesty & trust about every aspect of our finances. If we'd done that right off the bat, we'd be much further along, but we now have a plan to be debt-free in about 6.5 years!
I think it is VERY important - essential, even - to discuss finances before marriage, and ensure you're both on the same page. Open & honest discussion is the best policy.