Do you have a blended family? The highest rate of divorce for Australian men and women happens in their early 40s according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This means that there are people who are starting over romantically and financially during a time in their lives where financial obligations are also at their highest. In addition, money is often the leading cause of divorce or marital trouble, so if you end up getting married again, it’s no surprise that financial stress can happen from the start of the new relationship.
Strategies to stay financially fit with a blended family:
Honesty is the Key to Success
One of the reasons why financial issues cause so much trouble in marriages is because no one likes to talk about it. Honesty means talking about financial priorities, discussing spending, setting up a budget and having no financial secrets from each other. When two people are honest about money, there are fewer surprises.
Make Any Debts an Open Matter
As two people enter into a new relationship or marriage, one or both parties may have debt. It’s essential to the new relationship that both people are honest about their debt. You should share the type of debt and how much is owing. Nothing is more stressful than learning about your partner’s debt when you go to buy a home together, or out of the blue in some other situation.
Set Financial Boundaries
When two families come together, there aren’t just the adults involved, there are often kids involved too. Stress can be caused when one parent is more open to spending. This can cause issues amongst spouses and animosity between the children. From the start, set financial boundaries and rules on spending habits and priorities for both the adults and the children. By doing so, everyone is on the same page, which will reduce stress.
Talk to the Kids About Money
Speaking of the kids, one partner’s kids may be used to a certain lifestyle, while the other kids grew up different. It’s important to be honest and open with the children about money. They need to understand the limit on spending on items they want and necessities. While kids should not be part of adult problems per say, by keeping them in the loop and making them feel included, it can reduce stress.
Cover the Unexpected
Finally, as the family dynamic has changed, your retirement goals and insurance cover needs may have changed as well. Now is a good time to speak with a qualified financial professional. Along with checking your insurance, they can make other recommendations.
Blending families can be stressful even when you take the financial aspect out of the equation. By following the strategies above, you can feel confident that financial stress can be reduced. This will allow you to focus on your new relationship, life and family.