Managing money never seems easy but when you have two pairs of hands dipping into the penny jar it is even trickier. Differing goals, spending personalities and varying levels of financial discipline can get couples into trouble. However, a couple committed to financial freedom can overcome anything, including a few money mistakes and the emotional roller coaster that comes with it. Know the common pitfalls and work together to avoid them.
Checking account problems: Finding the right checking account arrangement can be difficult. It's easy to be influenced by friends and family but what works for others may not work for you. According to SmartMoney magazine, only 64 percent of couples have a joint checking account while 14 percent keep them separate. Some couples have both, around 18 percent. Make changes, when needed and talk about which checking account scenarios work best for you.
Handling the debt: Unless the two of you are financial "virgins" you'll likely have some money baggage when you tie the knot. If it's your spouse who is heavily loaded simply saying, "It's all up to you," won't help. Debt, even if it is not mutual, affects your joint credit. What's the fix? You will have to communicate, without assigning blame, and develop a plan together for getting out of debt. The days of "letting the man" handle it are over. Women need to have an accurate picture of their personal and joint finances.
Keeping financial secrets: Here's a common mistake couples make, making purchases without full disclosure. You go on an online shopping spree; he invests in a new business. While these actions seem innocent enough, hiding them suggests there's a problem. Don't keep money secrets, talk about where the money is going so no one is surprised at the end of the month.