Peace at Home can make you wealthy: Money and Marriages By Perrii
Any idea what causes more arguments in marriage than anything else? Money.
Why is this? Often it is because one or both spouses worry about money too much. Or not enough. Money is a complicated subject with lots of variables to consider. Any number of these variables can touch off an argument in an instant. Here are just a few things that can lead to conflict:
- Spending habits
- Saving habits
- Investment plans
- Income – single or double?
- Loss of Income
What’s behind all of these conflicts? Why is it so hard to see eye to eye with your spouse in this area?
Because both of you have very different ideas and values about money.
You started to form these values before you even knew you should care about money. Everyone’s childhood is different and parental attitudes have a tremendous impact on children. If your parents were savers and your spouse was a spender, that is going to affect the way you both look at money. Right or wrong, the way your parents handled their money influences your beliefs and attitudes toward money.
So, is there any way to minimize or even eliminate money conflict in your marriage?
Yes, it is possible. First, you need to identify the real issue that motivates the conflict. You are not actually angry that your spouse wants to buy a new car or take out a loan. It is what that action represents that gets under your skin. So dig deep and find out what’s going on.
Look over this list with your spouse and try to identify the real issue.
Is it about one of these?
Alternatively, possibly these?
- Social pressure
- Stress-free life
For some, it could also be about things like this:
- Trusteeship (Charitable)
Alternatively, maybe one of these?
- Risk taking
- Sense of achievement
As you look at the list together, remember that each term needs to be clarified. Clarity is power. For example, if you say that money gives you pleasure, you need to specify. What type of pleasure? What is a pleasure? Is money itself a pleasure or does money only the means to attain the pleasure?
Remember, it is all about attitude and perception, so try to see from your spouse’s perspective. One of you may consider your actions to be a sign of care and concern while the other sees the same actions as restrictive or controlling. Your spouse might see a given situation as an opportunity while you consider being an unwarranted risk. You may want to increase your wealth while your spouse is content with what you have now. We could go on and on. However, the point is, know why you are doing what you are doing, and seek to understand your spouse’s motivations as well.
Here’s a recipe for minimizing the arguments. Be sure to write down all your answers.
- For each of you, identify:
A. Ideas and values about money (Ask yourself first what money means to you. Talk out why it is important and how much you need for now and the future).
B. Strengths and weaknesses of money habits (ability to earn, impulsiveness to spend, or tendency to save).
C. The roles best suited to your skills. (Maybe the wife is in charge of budgeting, and the husband is the long-term planner/investor.)
- Now recall your dreams from when you were dating or first married. Dream new dreams together. Set your goals. Write them down. Those dreams should energize both of you. This exercise will bring you together.
- Adopt a positive mindset; search for consensus and mutually acceptable solutions. Your spouse is not your enemy.
- If you are having trouble finding a way to reconcile your views, postpone the exercise for a while. Set a time a week or two away to pick it back up. In the meantime, consider your spouse’s views with empathy. You may find more merits in them than you thought at first.
- When the time for the next meeting comes around if you can agree upon some acceptable goals, great! However, if not, don’t despair. You will just need to develop a mutual respect for other’s ideas, values, and goals. Make sure to establish a clear list of goals, even if you cannot agree on all of them. You may find that you need to have 3 set of goals: The goals you both agree on and a set for each.
- Now decide who is going to be the manager for each goal, the person with primary responsibility for seeing that it gets met. Refer to the roles you established in question 1 to help.
- For each goal, one spouse will be the money manager, and the other spouse acts as a member. The success of the goal is a shared responsibility, and both spouses contribute to the success, but someone needs to manage each task. The key to success is an open discussion, mutual trust, and willingness to support one another.
The whole idea here is to resolve the issues or conflicts. You can find a win-win situation.
It is all part of building the life together. It also opens the door to greater intimacy in all areas of life; sexual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
A situation where one spouse “wins” and the other “loses” is unattractive and dangerous. It can easily lead to divorce when a spouse feels his or her goals and values are always trampled on.
If both spouses lose, it is even worse. Separation and divorce are only a matter of time.
Once you have your list of goals, take a look at these practical tips to make them a reality.
- Allocate money or budget for anticipated expenses, savings, and investments.
- Plan for unexpected expenses.
- Decide on the main purchases in advance. Agree that neither spouse will buy any major item without the knowledge and consent of the other.
- Decide the manager for each goal and task.
- No secret accounts or reserves. Be open with each other now and avoid future issues.
- Never lie. If you do not agree, tell your spouse now. Either come to an agreement or respectfully agree to disagree. If the solutions you proposed are not acceptable to your spouse, discuss the alternatives.
- Let each one have some discretionary funds and no need to account for that money.
- One, or both, of you, should check bank statements and credit card statements regularly to ensure that things are happening according to plan.
- It is not a bad idea to have separate accounts and pro-rated contribution according to the income of each spouse if that solution is agreeable to both of you. However, don’t hide the accounts!
- If mistakes occur despite all these systems and procedures, forgive and move forward. Focus on learning from the experience.
- Dreams are a shared responsibility
- If you have issues, talk in a calm voice and avoid shouting.
- Automate whenever possible. Set up automatic bill payments with one of you designated as a manager to supervise.
It is all about showing how to have both money and relationship. The relationship is like glass. You will get what you put into it, by your actions and your words.
So decide what you want? Money, Relationship, Both, or None? It is for you to determine and implement your decision through action.
Need some help?
* To lead happy lives
* To reach your dreams
* To take charge of your financial destiny in your hands.
Contact Perrii at 416 473 6100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org