MONEY can be one of the most difficult subjects for a couple to discuss calmly. No wonder that it often tops the list as the most common cause of marital arguments.
Couples who have an unbalanced view of money might suffer stress, conflict, and emotional—even spiritual—damage. Parents who fail to resolve money issues may be forced to work more, depriving their children and each other of emotional and spiritual support. They also teach their children to be unreasonable about money.
Why, though, does money cause so many problems in a marriage? And what practical steps can you take to make money a constructive topic rather than a destructive one?
Four Keys to Success
1. Learn to talk calmly about money.
You do not have to wait until a problem arises before you talk about money. How does this principle apply? If you set a specific time to talk about financial issues, you lessen the likelihood of conflict resulting from misunderstandings.
TRY THIS: Pick a regular time to talk about family finances. You could have the conversation on the first day of each month or each week on a set day. Keep the discussion brief, possibly lasting about 15 minutes or less. Choose a time when you are both likely to be relaxed. Agree not to talk about money at certain times, such as at the meal table or when relaxing with the children.
2. Agree on how income will be viewed.
If you and your spouse both earn money, you can honor each other by disclosing your income and major expenditures to each other. If you hide either from your mate, you may well undermine trust and cause damage to your relationship. You do not necessarily have to consult your mate before spending every cent. But if you discuss larger purchases, you prove that you value your mate’s opinion.
TRY THIS: Agree on an amount that each of you can spend without having to consult the other, be it $20, $200, or some other figure. Always consult your partner if you want to spend more than that amount.
3. Put your plans on paper.
One way to plan for the future and avoid wasting your hard work is to create a family budget. If you rarely pay your bills with cash, using either electronic banking or a credit card, it is especially important that you have a plan and keep track of your expenses.
TRY THIS: Write down all your fixed expenses. Agree on what percentage of your income should be saved. Then list your variable expenses, such as for food, power, and phone bills. Next keep track of your actual expenses for several months. If needed, adjust your lifestyle so that you do not sink into debt.
4. Agree on who will do what.
In some families, the husband cares for the finances. In others, the wife capably cares for this responsibility. Many couples, though, choose to share the load.
TRY THIS: Taking into consideration each other’s strengths and weaknesses, discuss who will care for what responsibility. Review the arrangement after a couple of months. Be willing to make adjustments. To help you appreciate the work that your spouse does, such as paying bills or shopping, you might want to swap roles occasionally.
When couples discuss how they want to spend money, they share their hopes and dreams and confirm their commitment to the marriage.
Try out these 4 tips and see how it goes! I will always advise you to discuss with a professional to help guide you in the right direction and set goals and targets for you to follow.
Book with me now a FREE (non-commitment, no-payment) 20 minute online session so that I can help guide you to your best future!
I am a qualified STEP member. STEP is a global professional body, comprising lawyers, accountants, trustees and other practitioners that help families plan for their futures. They provide confidence to families by setting standards, training and educating their members, and upholding those standards. Full STEP members, known as TEPs, are internationally recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience.
Some examples of what STEP members may advise on are: providing for an individual following his or her partner’s death, while protecting the interests of their children; ensuring elderly or vulnerable relatives are cared for and supported; helping families with interests spread across the world to be compliant with laws and tax rules of different countries; ensuring that a family business will pass safely from one generation to another; and helping clients to support charitable causes effectively.
Find out more here: https://www.step.org/about-step/what-we-do