Two of the most difficult paths to navigate in our lives are money and marriage, but when done successfully, they can each bring us joy and fulfillment beyond measure. Unfortunately the opposite is true as well. When done poorly, they can bring us pain and misery. That is why it is imperative to plan ahead and seek help if needed.
Just as a marriage filled with emotional struggles and personality imbalance may need the help of a therapist, so can a life filled with debt and bad spending practices need the help of a financial counselor. For over a decade, 50% of marriages end in divorce and 45% of those are due to finances. Sometimes it is the difference in how a couple chooses to value their money, whether one is thrifty and the other frivolous. Other times it is because of placing materialistic goals over financial capability. This inevitable ends in debt. Such a little four letter word can break even the strongest love apart.
Debt may be accrued during marriage for any number of reasons, and it doesn’t always mean poor money handling. Sometimes it is simply life’s curve balls and economics. Debt can also be standing at the altar with you. Currently seven out of ten marriages begin with one or both of the betrothed already in debt. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling recently took a poll of single people’s opinions on love and debt, and 54% of them said they would not marry until the debt was paid, marry but not assist in helping to pay their partner’s debt or leave their loved one altogether. This means 46% would marry the person they love and help them pay their debt. It feels good to know that almost half of the individuals still believe that love is greater than money. This thought is not naïve.
As of February, 2015, the Federal Reserve announced that Americans have over 3.34 trillion dollars of consumer debt and nearly $884.8 billion of that is credit card debt. If you want to get married one day and refuse to marry someone with debt, you will be significantly decreasing your choices! Another option is to seek the help of someone like Consumers Alliance and start your marriage on a path of financial success. With highly trained credit counselors and debt management specialists, they can create a plan for your marriage to navigate the risky waters of debt and put you on a solid path to financial freedom.
By placing your debt under a debt management plan, you can lower your current credit card interest rates, set up a realistic payment plan and climb out from under problematic debt without destroying your credit rating. Consumers Alliance counselors will work with you and your partner to establish a goal you can achieve together and help you control any unhealthy spending habits. No matter how you choose to structure the finances in your marriage, strong financial planning is key. Living in a debt free marriage will save years of fighting, misunderstanding and those monthly fees to the couple’s therapist!