As we are coming to a close on our Valentines themed posts, I thought that the advice in this post would come in handy for those of us who are already married and trying to keep happiness alive. Did you know that money causes 70% of divorces each year. Whether or not you believe me, money is at the root of every relationship. It is a part of our everyday life. When we are first married we dream about how our life is going to be. We dream about our house, our kids and our retirement. What do we need to make these dreams come true? Money. And when our dreams are shattered because we cant afford to make them a reality, who do we blame? Yep, the one sitting beside us. Our spouse.
Everyone handles and views money differently. Some think about money all the time and want to save as much as it as possible, while others never think about money. They buy what they want and assume it will always be there. When you pair up two people who see money differently there is bound to be conflict brewing.
I recently read a book titled The 5 Money Personalities By Scott Palmer and Bethany Palmer. This book talked about how each person sees and handles money differently. It helped me to understand why I feel the way I do about our funds and why my husband feels like he is on a totally different planet. While the book was a bit repetitive, it did have a lot of good advice to offer. It does not focus on how to fix your budget but how to change your relationship to work together to create the life you desire. Once you are on the same page or at least know how to respect your partners view on money you can find a way to budget your funds. However if you continue to fight over money you will never accomplish the goals you set.
Several years ago my husband and I hit a hard place. He lost his job, we lost our house and every last penny we had. Instead of allowing it to get us down, we worked together and found a way to rebuild our lives. There are a few things that we did that I think helped out a lot. Some may work for you and others may not. Decide as a couple what you think you can implement and then work together to make it happen.
1. Be transparent about your money with your spouse. NEVER open credit cards, bank account, etc without them knowing. When they find out, they will feel betrayed.
2. Open a savings account to accompany your checking account. Set up pre-authorized transfers each week into your savings. Pretend the savings does not exist! Don’t use the funds unless it is an emergency. No, a new phone is not an emergency.
3. Cut back on spending. You do not need a TV in every room of the house. You do not need new clothes. If you don’t have it, don’t spend it!
4. Food and Shelter should be your main focus.
5. If you want something, save for it first. Buy it with cash, not credit.
These things are just my rules and have helped me get to where I am today. Every situation is different, but working as a couple to decide whats best for you is important. Also, read the book. It has some really great input on how to come together as a couple when tackling a budget. It may help save your marriage.
“Money does not equal happiness, but it does play a role in whether our dreams turn into a reality or not”
– The 5 Money Personalities
<3 Dick and Jane
Disclosure: I recieved this book Free for review purposes from booksneeze.com. All opinions are my own.