Home Finances

Written by Sarah Provost
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The topic of home finances is right up there with sex, religion and whether to have children when it comes to important concepts that people must discuss before deciding to marry. If one partner believes in instant gratification and the other doesn't feel safe without a sizable savings account, it's best to find that out before major conflicts erupt. Everyone has his or her own financial style, and some compromises may be required.

Attitudes Regarding Home Finances Can Vary Widely

Our attitudes about money and how to manage it are instilled in us at an early age by our families. My father took pride in the fact that he never took out a loan or used credit, except for a mortgage. When I first realized that I had a thousand dollars of debt on my credit card, I panicked. It felt to me like a disaster of major proportions, and I began to live as if I could afford nothing. At the same time, my friend had a much higher load of debt than I did, and was unconcerned. To him, it was worth the interest he was paying to have the things he needed and wanted.

Does one partner keep track of every little expense, down to the penny, while the other never balances a checkbook? Does one believe credit cards should be used for major purchases only, while the other enjoys the convenience of using the card for gas, groceries and every day expenses, then getting just one bill? If one partner believes firmly in saving for a rainy day and the other wants to buy a nifty new umbrella right now, the topic of home finances can become a battlefield.

Every couple contemplating sharing their lives should sit down and discuss home finances at some length. Learn what your partner's behavior patterns are and be certain you have clarity on your own habits and attitudes. Then you can discuss ways in which you can compromise so that you can both feel comfortable about your financial life together.


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