When veteran journalist Sharon Epperson
was ready to move her financial focus from "me" to
"we," she had to do a lot of digging to find advice
that addressed couples issues that were relevant to
Here, the CNBC correspondent and author
of a recently released book, "The Big Payoff: 8 Steps
Couples Can Take To Make The Most Of Their Money --
and Live Richly Ever After," gives you the scoop on
planning for your future in tandem and making saving
a family affair.
|At a glance|
Talk it out
You write about financial surprises in partnership, disclosing that you unknowingly married someone who suffers from what you describe as monetary narcolepsy. How do you deal with these unavoidable discoveries?
of the things that you have to do as a couple is realize
that there might be some skeletons in the closet.
Talk about finances as early as possible. Try to speak
about it before you walk down the aisle. Figure out
what your own financial goals are, what your personal
financial situation is, and what debts you have. Ask
your partner to do the same. It's important to then
come together and see what your needs and your wants
If an issue comes up, try to remain
calm. Whether it's bills or loans you didn't know
about, whatever the case may be, you're not going
to solve the situation by turning it into an argument.
Use this opportunity to begin a conversation. Figure
out what the debts are and create a plan to pay them
off together. How much income do we have? You might
say: "I didn't realize you made this much money,
or that our expenses would be that high." Shift
that to: "How do we pay off debt, pay the bills,
and continue to save?" It's a tall order.