Steve Pybrum has counseled countless couples across the country, thanks to his best-selling books and national TV appearances on the topic of Money and Marriage. His practical advice covers managing debt and money, which can pave the way for a happy and trouble-free marriage.
Debt has become so ingrained to the American way of life that married couples should be careful not to be complacent and letting a molehill debt problem grow into an insurmountable mountain. Given that money may already be a touchy, sensitive topic for some couples, the matter then becomes all the more complicated when you add in a compulsive and destructive debt problem. Whether debt concerns you or your spouse, here are some of the warning signs to watch out for:
1. Hiding debts from your spouse – As marriage is based on love and trust, hiding financial matters from your spouse is a red flag you should take notice immediately. Hiding is never helpful and in this case, it can also wreak havoc on your marriage as well. If you fear your spouse will get angry, it’s certainly a sign you need to be more responsible with your finances.
2. Spending more than your income – It’s easy to be hypnotized by the lure of materialism, which is why if you find yourself spending more than your income allows, it’s time to look into automated transfers to build up your emergency fund, savings, retirement fund, and other equally important nest eggs like college tuition.
3. You don’t know how much debt you have – How can you fix your debt problem if you don’t know its scope? More importantly, you should also know what debts you owe as this will help you prioritize which ones to pay first. In general, you should pay off secured debts first like your mortgage, followed by unsecured debts like credit cards.
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