The mental anxiety and overwhelming pressure that stems from financial stress can be a major threat to any marriage. A recent Forbes survey among Americans validates this fact. Various issues drive financial stress - lack of fund for daily needs, crippling debt, job loss or financial uncertainty. But it’s not all doom and gloom for marriages rocked by money problems. Sharecare’s Dr. Kathleen Hall sees it as an opportunity for something better - “Money can be a source of destruction or a source of creativity in a marriage.”

So instead of running out the door when financial challenges hit, turn it into a couple's goal with your spouse: use your financial hardship as a stepping stone to a stronger relationship. Below are some of the most common money issues among married and how you and your significant other can work things out.

Money Issue 1: Avoiding money talks
A GoBanking rate survey showed that 22% of Americans lie to their partner about money, especially when it comes to their spending habits and their debt. Sadly, secrets or lies like this can damage your marriage, as well as your family’s financial health.

Couple Goal: Communicate openly, regularly
Critical to ensuring a happy marriage is talking about your finances as a couple. Openly talk about budget, income, debt, and financial goals. Then share responsibility over financial decisions and obligations. Both of you should know how much money is coming in, going out and where it is spent. Transparency is key.

Money Issue 2: No Financial Safety Net
Unforeseen emergencies or unexpected job loss can put tremendous pressure on your marriage. More so when you don’t have sufficient funds to tide you over. Fighting with your spouse over this only adds to the stress you’re already burdened with.

Couple Goal: Build an Emergency Fund
Set aside some money to shield your family and your marriage from financial shocks. Financial experts suggest 3 to 6 months worth of salary for an emergency fund. You could take into account your family’s health condition, financial obligations, job security, etc to determine how much funds you need. Make sure to keep this fund in a high-yielding savings account so you also benefit from interest earnings.

Money Issue 3: Managing Debt
While debts incurred by you or your spouse before marriage remain individual obligations, new debts after marriage depends on your state laws. In Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin, all property and debts are shared after marriage regardless of individual or joint account status. In other states, however, the spouse isn’t liable for any debt they didn’t sign up for.

Couple Goal: Team up against debt
Marriage has no effect on your individual credit report and credit scores. But when you and your spouse apply for a loan or a credit card together, both of your credit reports and credit scores will be considered. If you or your partner have a poor credit history, borrowing money could be more challenging. Which is why it’s best to team up against debt.

The first step is to communicate openly with your spouse. Create a safe space so you can understand the story behind each other’s debt. Next is to find a solution in managing debt. If you and your partner are tackling multiple credit card debt, consider debt consolidation. This allows you to streamline bill payments by paying off debt in one monthly payment.

To know more about debt consolidation, call Financial Rescue’s customer representatives and we’ll guide you and your spouse through your debt repayment journey. Make this your couple's goal for a stronger relationship fortified by financial freedom.