Financial problems often lead to strong disagreements in marriage. If these are not resolved, they can become large enough to destroy the relationship.

Handling finances is a matter of responsibility, knowledge, and discipline. It also involves a willingness to adjust financial expectations and spending habits in order to work together as a team.

Many problems can be avoided by establishing a sound budget at the beginning of your marriage and by determining to live within your means. The financial pressures that come from mismanaging money or abusing credit will definitely put a strain on your relationship. Here are some principles and practical advice for establishing a budget and financial plan.

•Use a ledger to add up your joint income and to subtract your monthly expenses (rent, utilities, credit card payments, etc.)
•Place ten percent of your joint income in a savings account
•Establish a budget to use for food, personal needs, household items, gas, and other needs beyond your monthly expenses
•When using a joint account, be sure each of you has an ATM card or a way to access the funds
•If you have separate accounts, determine how much of your individual incomes will be pooled together for your joint expenses and how much will be contributed to additional expenses such as food, special activities, household items, etc.
•Establish an amount for your emergency fund (this can be used at the end of the year for a special activity or placed in your savings account)
•Establish long-term goals for

There are many other important matters to consider when reviewing your finances.
These include investments and an evaluation of needs that may arise in the future.
Take time to read a book on finances or investments and be sure to save as much as possible in your early years of marriage.

As you become more established financially, you can adjust your budget to fit your new income levels. It is very difficult to reduce your spending, however, if you start out spending too much. Discipline yourselves to live within your means, and do your best to operate according to your budget.

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