Money Management: 3 Questions You and Your Spouse Should be Asking
With the economic climate as it is, many couples are struggling with handling and prioritizing their financial commitments. Instead of keeping track of the dollars, many couples are forced to watch their nickels and pennies just to make ends meet. It’s during times like these that finance in marriage can often be a great source of conflict and disagreement. Little things can escalate and the future can start to seem hopeless.
As generations before us learned, during financially hard times, couples need to work together to avoid many marriage issues spawned by overspending and disagreement. Expenses that were once considered incidental are the kind of things that now have to be carefully thought about. Many couples find that their financial situation can be greatly improved when both spouses fully understand and agree on how their money should be spent.
Is this a want or a need?
Thousands of marketing dollars are spent each year convincing us that we can’t live without “whatever it is.” We’ve been raised on impulse buying with everything from blue-light specials to end caps filled with little conveniences. Before you make that extra little purchase, ask yourself if it something you truly need or is it something you impulsively want. Many marriage problems can be avoided just by paying more attention to our needs versus wants.
Do you really know what your financial situation is?
It’s nearly impossible for you and your spouse to join together and develop a budget that is financially sound if you are not both fully aware of your monetary standing. You and your spouse should go over everything from life insurance to college funds, retirement, savings, indebtedness, long- and short-term disability, mortgages, and other financial choices. Too often couples don’t talk about or even consider these things until a tragedy occurs. Take the time, as difficult as it can be, to review spending and saving habits. Once it’s out in the open, you can go about managing it as a team.
Are you prepared in the event of an emergency?
Talking about and financially planning for the unexpected can help your family avoid what could become a financial catastrophe. What if one of you were to lose your job? How would you handle long-term medical bills or costly automotive or home repairs? Financial problems only compound already difficult situations and potentially create a marriage crisis. Make sure you and your spouse go over backup plans, such as savings and insurance to help alleviate the burden of unexpected and unwanted expenses.
Although financial issues are handled differently in every marriage, many of the problems that occur because of financial struggles are the same. The feelings of being overwhelmed and afraid are common for most couples. Don’t hesitate to get help from counseling services or other marriage professionals if you are not sure how to go about coping with marriage problems in the midst of money problems. Don’t let money keep you from saving your marriage.