Money is essential in our everyday living. Unlike the primitive era where goods can be exchanged for goods, hardly would any transaction take place in this modern times without money exchanging hands. Whether physical cash or electronic money, one way or the other; goods and services are duly rendered when there had been some kind of monetary exchange.
Many relationships today experiences one kind of problem or the other that are related to money. Marriages are not exempted as well. The other day, I almost had issue with my spouse simply because she spent way above what we budgeted for. Usually, disagreement over money come in these subtle ways; either of the partners spending more than necessary, especially if the money in question is not that available or in excess.
The truth is, money problems between spouses can even start even before the wedding vows are exchanged. They can stem, for example, from the expenses of courtship or from the high cost of a wedding. This is why couples who usually have disagreement over their finances are advised to sit down and plan their financial life well appropriately. Below are 5 problem-solving tips to handle disagreements that arise from money in marriage. The list may be more than five, but those selected here have been proven and they can go a long way in reducing conflicts arising from money in marriages.
1. Be Honest About Your Current Financial Situation
Under no circumstances should the financial state of the family be hidden or be made secret from either of the spouses. Couples who have for example, different money pulse apart from the joint family pulse should also be opened to their spouse's as well. There are instances when husbands or wives keep monies away from their partners all in a bid to live some extravagant life outside of the family. This practice should be discouraged. There is no law that says as the husband or wife, you cannot have a separate account. But at least, let your spouse be aware of such accounts, so that when you are spending from it; and the family account is dare need to be reimbursed; no one would have to accuse each other of keeping monies away from the family. This is very important.
2. Set Aside Time To Discuss On Money Matters
For the sake of growth in the family finance and orderliness, it is important as couples to set aside time often to discuss money matters, evaluate where you are and plan towards where you are going and how you will get there. It's not a time to get angry with one another in case you haven't met your target or probably one partner is defaulting in the spending discipline. It's just totally important that you discuss to help one another develop a proper financial discipline. Many couples don't discuss this matter and they just want to assume that their partner understand where they are financially.
If you don't discuss with him/her, how will he/she know what you are thinking or probably planning for the home. I have had a case of seeing the need to save a particular amount of money for the month, but several times when my partner shows me the lots of expenses we might incur in the course of the month, I had no option than review it so we can make a better financial decision. But in the case where I have refused to discuss it, and later in the course of the month we start incurring such expenses, I could start believing my partner spends a lot and probably get angry as a result, but this is just the reality. Therefore, it is important that we sit together as couples in a marital relationship to see to the financial sanity in the home. This will also ensure there is peace in the home.
3. Construct A Joint Budget That Includes Savings.
Creating a budget is of utmost importance while making any financial decision and in managing funds. A budget is also the same as planning your future income and expenses. This is one vital instrument needed for financial management even in Organizations and it cannot be ruled out in the lives of individuals as well. Draw up a budget monthly, weekly or annually, but more of the time it is easier to draw up budgets monthly as many receive income this way. When you draw up your budget, its expedient here that you set aside percentages for varied expenditures which means things that you spend money on.
For example, you could set aside 15% of your income for savings, 40% for home expenses, 10% for transport allowance, 10% for Education and so on as the case may be for you and as urgent the need may also be to you. Budget simply is financial planning, planning for the future and its important that when you plan, you consciously run with it into the future, do not for any reason other than emergencies, put your budget aside. It is important that when you plan , you be prepared to run it through.
4. Decide Upon Short-Term And Long-Term Goals. It's OK To Have Individual Goals, But You Should Have Family Goals, Too.
Remember the saying: "He who fails to plan, plans to fail." This is the situation of a man that fails to set future plan which also means future goals in this case. Set your family goals together as a couple. It is impossible for someone who sees a matter with you and agrees on it with you to quarrel with you over such matter. Once you are plain enough, transparent and open to discuss your short and long term goals with your spouse, letting your spouse know why you are making some very critical financial decision, he /she will follow you through it and ensure you both succeed in such.
For instance, you have a goal to build a house in the next one year that your wife is not aware of and you are making some critical financial decision based on this goal, saving a large chunk of the income, your wife will obviously get confused and wonder if her husband has changed and why he has suddenly become stingy. This is why it is important you discuss with your spouse and let them know your thoughts, goals and aspirations that would affect financial decisions. when she know these things, she wouldn't bother you so much as a matter of fact, she will run with you and ensure the goal is fully realized and met.
5. Talk About Caring For Your Parents As They Age And How To Appropriately Plan For Their Financial Needs If Needed.
Giving to parent is one important financial decision that should not be ruled out by any individual, when you give to your parent, they are glad and in return they choose to bless you in return which is one blessing you should not toil with, it is is also very important for your financial growth. The Scriptures made it clear that we should honor our parents, not just in kneeling down to greet them alone, or prostrating to greet them. Part of honoring one's parents is by reaching out to them financially.
It is important that we note here that irrespective of how your parent have been to you, giving to them is totally non negotiable. And I am not saying here that you give to them beyond your means, whatever it is you give, even if its recharge card, it is important, just ensure you have something going out of you to your parent regularly, your need their heart to pray for you.
That been said, as couples, discuss it, let your spouse know, and ensure you do same to the other partner's parents as well. Please do not be selfish, when you married that man or woman, his /her parent became your parent also. Therefore, treat them as yours and act accordingly. Talking about it will ensure that you reach a consensus as to what you want to be sent to them at intervals, work with whatever works for you as a family. I believe this piece have inspired you one way or the other. Please, feel free to drop your comments, questions and any challenges; as we allow the Lord to help us provide solutions to them.
Do have a prosperous New Year!
Source: [Centre for New Dimension Leadership]