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Lesko Financial: How Couples Can Avoid Common Marriage Money Mistakes

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Bryanna: June is the traditional month for weddings, and Greg Lesko of Lesko Financial has some tips on how couples can avoid common marriage money mistakes.

Greg: Studies over the years say arguments about money are the leading indicator of whether a marriage will end in divorce. Many couples disagree about finances because each partner comes to marriage with a different “money personality.” But here are some big marital money mistakes to avoid. First, debt.
For most debt, you’re only legally responsible for the amounts you personally took on, but one spouse’s debt or poor credit can affect whether or not a couple can get a mortgage-- among other things. Both parties need to be honest about what they owe and develop a plan for tackling debt--together.  

Bryanna: What other mistakes can married couples avoid?  

Greg: “Financial Infidelity.” This happens when one spouse keeps secrets about spending, income or hidden assets. It will only erode the trust between partners over time. Another big mistake is when spouses don’t agree on--or stick to--basic money ground rules—such as when to splurge and when to save.
Another problem is not planning their financial future. Goals, dreams and what kind of retirement they’d like to share are all important topics to discuss.  

Bryanna: Any other ways to make sure money issues don’t derail a marriage?  

Greg: Yes—open and honest communication about finances, including money history, beliefs, and fears. Ideally, this would happen before saying “I do.” But anytime during the marriage is a good time to get the dialog going. Try to keep emotions out of it. And make money matters an ongoing conversation to help foster a successful marriage.