Ward Off Breakup Or Divorce
I think most everyone has heard at one point or another that money, or differences in attitudes toward money is the leading cause of separations and divorces throughout the United States if not the world. One of the quickest ways to start an argument in a relationship is to pick on your spouse or partners use of money.
While few people will admit that they do not think better money management would be good for them, differences arise in what is considered “good” money management!
Further, there are myriad ways for couples to disagree on who is doing what with the money – paying bills, investing, etc.
While there is no magical solution to having money management disagreements torpedo a happy relationship, there are some tips to help you keep things as harmonious as possible.
1. Make Sure Each Of You Has Some “Private” Money Of Your Own
Invariably there is one person who makes more money than the other in the marriage or relationship. Neither one of you should be investing 100 percent of your earnings into paying the bills. Both of you need a little “fun” money to pursue things that are important and enjoyable to you without jeopardizing the family budget.
In other words, you need to plan a set amount of money that is yours to spend without having to be accountable for your spouse.
Granted, that is as long as your basic needs are met: food, clothing, shelter for your family. Surviving must come before fun – welcome to adulthood.
2. Do Not Overlook The Children
Unless the children are from one of you only, without a commitment from the other, both need to be making sure the kids needs are met, including any “allowance” that you BOTH have agreed they should get.
Make sure the children have their needs met before you, including whatever it takes for their education and health; especially before putting too much money aside for your own personal discretionary spending.
3. Decide On Spending Limits Together
When it comes to big spending decisions (think home, car, investing) or the need for cut-backs, both partners need to be involved in the process. It is not uncommon for one of you to know more about money or investing than the other, and that should be recognized, but you both need to have input and have your say.
Both of you should have a voice when it comes to major decisions. If sacrifices are to be made they should be made somewhat equally.
Bad things are certain to happen if it feels like one person is enduring the brunt of the “punishment” and the other still has his or her “fun”.
4. Put Your “Spending” Plan In Writing
Once the two of you have sat down together and discussed the issues surrounding making money, spending money and having your own personal allocation, put that plan in writing! Make sure you date it and why not have each of you sign it as well?
Then give each of you a copy and keep in handy for a while until blissful money management is second nature to you both.
From time to time, review your plan and make sure it is working OK for both of you. If not, revise as necessary.
What Do You Do If One Of You Stays At Home?
Sometimes the biggest money arguments are from marriages where one is the bread winner and the other stays at home. Especially as time goes by, the bread winner can be weary of trying to make enough money to live on and often see his/her spouse’s spending as not appreciating just how hard that money is to come by.
Again, the key is to sit down and talk about these things BEFORE they blow up into a fight.
While each of you should always strive to appreciate what the other does, make sure your actions reflect that appreciation; perhaps by clipping coupons, searching for sales, saving by buying online with deal sites.
Perhaps the best relationship advice when it comes to money is to make sure that you work on these issues together and always ensure you both respect each others work put forth to make a living, needs and individual opinion.
Talk it out together, create a plan, then put that plan in writing.
Sometimes the best way to save a marriage is to make sure it stays off one of the surest paths to trouble!