September 19, 2017
 
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Til Debt Do Us Part?

A marriage is a new beginning, a journey of love, trust and companionship.  You’ve chosen your mate and embarked on the adventure of living life with your best friend.  Love is the center of your union and the legacy you’ve chosen.

As we have all heard it said, financial struggles and difficulties are the number one cause of marital discord and divorce in our society. Don’t let your marriage fall into that category. Guard your marriage and your family from the breakdowns that lead to divorce by being proactive in your stand and take these preventative steps that nurture your relationship.

1. Be honest and forthcoming about your financial circumstances.

Putting everything out on the table is the key to creating a workable and realistic financial plan. Knowing both future spouse’s financial situations allows you to come together and strategize. Some form of debt is a reality for the majority of today’s couples, but don’t let that stop you.

Trust is the foundation of any partnership, but especially that of marriage. Don’t allow thoughts of fear, shame or insecurity cause you to hide figures from each other. You are partners in all aspects of life, and you have what it takes to succeed. Lay a strong foundation for your marriage by telling the truth and being receptive.

2.  Continue to communicate openly and regularly.

It’s not enough to talk about finances beforehand. Discuss your finances and goals regularly, keeping the lines of communication open. Healthy conversations include facts and figures, as well as dreams and goals. Love wants to provide for and share in the process of dreams realized; so give each other the opportunity! Don’t bottle up your fears either. Talk about your concerns and come up with solutions together. Remember, you are each other’s greatest support system. Invest in your marriage by offering encouragement and pointing each other towards a bright future.

3.  Plan with purpose.

Budget is not a bad word! Planning your financial success is not restrictive. Rather, doing so allows you to work towards achieving your goals and remaining in the place of financial freedom. Regular check ups are meant to promote your health. Likewise, regular budgeting is a check up for your financial health, and sticking to the plan helps reduce unnecessary stress. Divide up the financial responsibilities of bookkeeping and bill paying, keeping each other in the loop.

4.  Work to eliminate and avoid credit card debt.

Credit card debt can feel like a ball and chain to your marriage. Don’t get tied down and held back by unnecessary spending. If you already have credit card debt, work out a plan of action to pay it off and keep it off! Implement simple strategies to boost your payoff, like eliminating wasteful spending and allotting that excess to your credit card balances instead.

If your current debt situation seems like more than you can handle - seek help.  Non-profit credit counseling organizations are an excellent resource for sound advice, education and debt management strategies.


You plan to marry the love of your life, so take the steps now to protect your marriage against financial strain and strife. May you always live happily ever after.

 

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