Saturday, July 7, 2012

Save your marriage by sharing financial responsibility!

How to deal with a financially irresponsible spouse?!!
How to deal with an extremely frugal spouse?!!
How to save your marriage when you are poles apart in your financial habits?!!

All very relevant questions in today's world. Divorce rates at their peak today. One of the unfortunate causes for this is the difference in which each individual treats money. If you and your spouse find yourselves poles apart in your spending and saving habits, then life together becomes tough. Minor purchases and behaviors tend to flare up arguments and fights. As these fights and arguments increase, you will find yourself walking away from each other more often.

Her 25$ new dress looks like a big red flag to you while your 200$ electronic gadget looks like a mockery of family values to her!

It is very important for couples to have similar views on budgets, savings and expenditure. These aspects of life intermingle with 90% of your thought and actions on a normal day as a couple. If you find yourselves poles apart on these categories, you are going to be in fights on a daily basis!

Unfortunately not all of us think about this financial compatibility while marrying :) . Love can be blind! Opposites attract is a rule of love that cant be denied! So how do you deal with this situation and save your marriage?

I have been looking around for suggestions from different financial advice blogs on this topic. I found a pattern of advice which I found would most likely work.

Always communicate about the problem. Never let your thoughts and anger build up quietly till it finally bursts open to leave an ugly mark. Call for a family meeting and discuss what is worrying you. If you love each other, you will listen to your spouse when he or she explains something with love. Bring the issue to the table and talk about how you see a long term problem

Budget together
Sit together and plan together! Talk to each other and agree on what your long term and short term goals are. In the long term, you may be planning to settle down somewhere, own your beautiful suburban home, build a retirement fund, etc. In the short term, you may be planning a vacation, you may be planning a major purchase like a car, etc. Talk about these and agree on how to go about doing them. How to set aside something every month for these goals? how to manage the rest of the month after paying for your long and short term goals? this helps to divide the financial responsibility between both of you.

Manage together
This is vital! Budgeting together only ensures the planning is done properly. Execution is the key!
Divide responsibility here. Make each other responsible for different aspects of the plan so that you are each managing something for the family and are accountable for it! Your love for each other will make you want to do a better job for the family :).

Say one of you is a spendthrift. Get a debit card with a spending limit according to your grocery budget. Let him or her manage that card to do the grocery shopping for the entire month! This will help your life partner feel the financial responsibility. This experience will help bring you together.

Celebrate together
This is equally important! Don't get too caught up in your budgeting and saving plan that you forget to cherish each other! Have some short term goals that will help you celebrate together.

Plan a couple of vacations a year. Vacations don't really have to cost a lot! There are many low cost options that you can research and find. Or plan to dine out a few times in a month. This will be a treat to congratulate yourselves on sticking to your budgets! If your spendthrift life partner manages to be within the planned grocery budget, then plan a treat with the savings! These little joys will add to your bond and love for each other!

Hope this articles helps you! If you have additional advice, please share them with me!

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