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How to Master the Money in Your Relationships

Did you know it is said that, over fifty percent of Divorce in North America is Due to Financial Problems?   What if financial problems are only a scapegoat? Your relationship with money goes far beyond the pocketbook, your investments, or what is in your bank account.  It may seem to be a significant accomplishment […]

Harmony?
Harmony?

Did you know it is said that, over fifty percent of Divorce in North America is Due to Financial Problems?  

What if financial problems are only a scapegoat? Your relationship with money goes far beyond the pocketbook, your investments, or what is in your bank account. 

It may seem to be a significant accomplishment for a couple to stay married for longer than five years. The astounding statistic shows that most marriages are on their decline after the first year or two.

According to a 2004 study by Smart Money Magazine, the top six money arguments that couples have are about:   

  • Merging their money   
  • Dealing with debt   
  • Budgeting   
  • How to best invest 
  • Money secrets 
  • Planning for emergencies  
  • Selfishness   

The way you think about money is your money blueprint and this will determine the value you place on it and how you use it. Most frequently when couples fight about finances, it can usually be determined that they have opposite beliefs about money. Some may call it your money blueprint. The question is what is your money blueprint?

Merging Money

Having joint finances may mean different things to each partner. Some couples may choose to combine everything, bank accounts, credit cards, investments, while others may not. The important thing is to do what is best for your family. The process of merging money requires patience, trust, understanding, and a willingness to compromise. This will require reaching a mutual understanding which includes shared priorities, that will help to influence your most critical financial decisions

Dealing with debt

There are numerous ways of dealing with debt. It is the debtor’s responsibility to make paying off the debt a priority. Seek valuable advice form a financial professional in order to find the options that best suit your situation. Both parties should agree to make paying off the debt a priority. This will free up more money to work into the budget for increased saving, investing, or giving. It is very important to “know the state of your flock and give full attention to your herd”. Knowing where your money is going will give you a clearer picture to make adjustments where necessary.

Money Secrets

Having secrets about money can cause friction in the relationship.  The budget will have a permanent hole that will get you frustrated when you do not know how to fix it. If there are must-haves for each person. Find ways to increase your personal cash flow in order to get the thing you desire rather than taking from your already allotted budget.

Planning for emergencies

This should be a shared decision. The amount to put aside for emergencies can be 3-6 months of income and eventually increased to 12 months. This will help create peace of mind for the family. Never wait to start a fund, start with what you have. In case of an emergency or a pandemic, or sudden loss of income, you will be very grateful for having started when you did. You can start with as little as $25 dollars per month, but think of your savings as a bill that must be paid. You owe it to yourself.

Selfishness

This is when one person thinks they are entitled to certain things regardless of the consequences to the other family members. This can lead to pain and grief for the family.  Take care of yourself, but do not be selfish by causing harm to others in doing so.

Your Money beliefs

The way you use money reveals the intent of the heart. Any decisions you make about money is in direct co-relation to your spiritual and mental condition. You will make financial decisions based on your beliefs and customs about money. Being on the same page spiritually will help you be in a better place financially.

How do you think about money? How do you handle that which you are left in trust with? Remember we are stewards or managers of the resources we are entrusted with.  This thinking will help you make better decisions in determining where your money goes. Having more money will reveal more of who you truly are. If your life is filled with confusion, fear, or arrogance, then more of that is what you will get. On the other hand, if your life is filled with love or empathy, joy, and happiness, the more money you have, then the more of what you are will show up.

 Most fights about money are not really about money, but instead, they are about priorities beliefs, values, and customs. Every decision you make regarding money is about priorities or what you believe is a priority. What is most important is where the spending should be done, but unfortunately, the disagreement on what is of greater priority is what leads to an argument. Think about it truthfully. Is the fight really about the money, and is it worth it?

Unfortunately, financial matters are not often discussed at the kitchen table for many families and when they are, it mostly leads to an unpleasant situation.  The experience you have in regards to money and the value you place on it will determine how healthy your money relationship is. The good news is, it’s never too late to change the way you think and opt to learn good money management and the basics of financial education and teach it to your children. In some households, it may seem that there is always money issues. The biggest problem stems from a lack of financial education. It is not how much you make, but how you allot what you make and how much you keep. The truth is there is never a money crisis, but always a spending crisis. The statistic shows that a large number of people are facing problems in their relationships because of a lack of proper financial education and wrong beliefs about money.

Finance plays a big part in any relationship, however, you have to understand that it is not always about the money but more about your priorities and values. Having a good understanding of what the main priorities are in your relationship will help you take the mutual step toward channeling the finances in the right place, and that will help to bring some level of peace and harmony to the partnership.

Partners may argue in a relationship for different reasons. There may be differences in lifestyle, values, or beliefs. Everyone is different and unique, and becoming partners does not change that. One may be a saver and the other a spender. One may prefer to save for vacations while the other may want to think about paying for the vacation after it is done. One may prefer to put everything on paper on purpose and the other doesn’t. Whatever it is that makes you different, it is important to stick to the partnership by taking care of all financial dealings together as partners.  Give each other a chance to shine at what they are good at, and encourage each other’s strength. Keep your relationship goals in mind and capitalize on each other’s strengths.

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