They say that money is the root of all evil. It’s apparently the root of many divorces, too. That’s according to one financial planner, who said that studies have shown that finances are the top cause of divorce in the United States. He cited the following money issues as marriage-busting problems:
A lack of savings in the bank. The planner said more than 50 percent of American families have less than $1,000 stashed away as savings. With no money to fall back on, a marriage could suffer from money-related stress. He recommended establishing an emergency account. One way to fund that opening deposit? Use the money you and your spouse would have spent on a nice dinner out and eat at home instead. After that, make an easy addition to savings either by having your employer directly deposit part of your paycheck or setting up an automatic transfer with your bank on the same date each month.
Failure to talk about money. Sit down with your spouse every few months to discuss your finances. Analyze where your money goes each month, assess your savings plan and set financial goals. This will help you trust each other with money and keep you both aware of various expenditures. It’s also a good way to look at recurring expenses and determine if they bring value to either or both of you, or if you should eliminate them.
Keeping secrets about money. Do you have money hidden in the sock drawer that your spouse doesn’t know about? If it’s accidentally discovered, you’re bound to face questions. Secret money can lead to distrust. What – or whom – do you plan to spend it on that you don’t want your spouse to know about?
Having different thoughts about spending and saving. You want to save money for an emergency, a car, retirement or your child’s education. Your spouse wants a new set of golf clubs. Last month it was top-of-the-line cookware. A way to rectify this is to agree to save for the future through automatic payments to appropriate accounts. Once that is done, and all the monthly bills are paid, the leftover can be spent on fun.
These are interesting thoughts — if money issues haven’t already led to irreparable damage in a marriage. If a divorce is inevitable, a Northern California family law attorney can advise you on financial issues as you move forward.