Money problems in a marriage are one of the leading causes of divorce. I probably did not surprise you with that statement. How about this one? Reports say that financial problems cause nearly half of all divorces. Again, no major revelation with that statement either. It is an alarming statistic when you think about how straightforward dealing with money really should be in life.
Think about it this way. You and your spouse earn a particular amount of money from your job. You use that money to buy groceries, make your mortgage payment, buy clothes, cars and other necessary items. You can afford things, or you can’t. It’s that simple. If you can’t afford something, you have two choices, cut your spending or earn more money from a part-time job.
Unfortunately, we live in a “get it now” world, so when we want to buy something, we pull out our favourite credit card and charge the purchase with no regard to how we will pay for it later. Or if it is a significant purchase, like a car or house, we go to the bank to finance it. Many people get into financial troubles because they buy new vehicles or purchase more homes than they can afford.
We all know someone who always buys or leases cars on credit, but not just any vehicle. They purchase the latest luxury or sports car and pay much more than they should while struggling to make monthly mortgage repayments on their house and put food on the table, let alone buy a new car on credit.
How You Can Handle Finances Better as a Couple
If you don’t have the cash to purchase something, don’t get it. This includes cars and any other big-ticket items except for your house. But to do that, you need to have a very aggressive savings plan. Initially, people will think you’re crazy. But now they will be envious because you don’t have to worry when an unexpected bill comes in.
Doing this allows you to pay in cash for vacations, cars, appliances and many other things because of the decision. Follow the main golden rule for avoiding money problems in a marriage: never spend what you haven’t got, and don’t waste money on unnecessary interest repayments.
You may learn these simple money principles from financial gurus like Dave Ramsey and others. Their concepts are straightforward to grasp. It begins with understanding the difference between “wants” and “needs” in daily living. If you “want” something that isn’t critical for your everyday living, then wait for it. Remember, only buy what you can afford at a particular time.
When you need a newer car to do your job and basic suburban living, buy an inexpensive used car that would do the job, not a luxury vehicle. If you get a luxury car beyond your financial means, you could lose that car to bank repossession. That would be a huge mistake which will create further money problems. Think about it; you would lose your initial deposit, the interest you paid and the car itself. That is a huge loss financially, but maybe even more damaging is your loss of self-esteem.
Money Problems Lead To Stress-Filled Marriages
Many friends and relatives who have money problems tend to have a stress-filled marriage and lots of tension in their relationship. They never know how they will pay their monthly bills from one month to another. Small, seemingly insignificant things get blown out of proportion because both marriage partners are anxious about the money problems. They get angry with one another, but they are both to blame. They both “want” what they cannot afford.
This can be true with people who don’t make a lot of money, but even more disturbing is that many couples making a solid six-figure income have the same problems. In reality, they don’t have a money problem; they have a disciple problem. They don’t know how to put off their “wants” and focus only on their daily “needs”.
So many couples get themselves into financial problems because they choose to ignore money issues. These issues make them feel uncomfortable, so they avoid them altogether. They expect them to disappear and resolve themselves without any effort on their part. Still, just like any other marriage problem, you need to address financial issues in a straightforward, focused manner.
Instead of attacking this problem head-on, they begin to attack each other by constantly arguing. Arguing and fighting won’t solve anything, and it certainly will not address the real cause of the problem. It doesn’t matter how the original problem occurred, money is now short, and you can’t afford to pay the bills. In most marriages, the fault does not lie with one person. You are equal partners, and you both have to face the
Fix Your Money Problems By Working Together
It does not matter how your money problems in your marriage began. You have to sit down together, focus on the issues at hand. You need to forget what happened in the past and put all your time and energy into fixing the problem. No more excuses; take massive, focused action right away.
You cannot blame your spouse, so don’t go looking for a fight. You must take some time to sit down with your partner, write down your spending over the last few months, detail your monthly earnings and then work out a plan to close the gap. Throughout this process, you must support each other and work together as a team towards the same goal of debt-free living. Know how to live within your means, whether through working more hours or retraining for a higher paying job. You may have to find opportunities to earn extra cash from home. Better yet, accept you are living outside your means and work out how you can spend less.
Finally, you need to establish a budget that both of you can live with then stick to it completely. As a part of that new budget, you must include a healthy amount of monthly savings so you can begin to get ahead of the game.
The main point is that you don’t let money problems destroy your marriage. Instead, sort your problems out before you ruin something extraordinary. Your family and your marriage are too precious to lose over something as simple as money.