Managing the family’s finances can get on even the most agreeable couple’s nerves, but there are many ways to ease the frustration.
Money is one of the top five things couples argue about.
Most money management mistakes don’t even involve money interestingly enough.
Making simple changes to your habits and communication with your spouse can help get your finances in order.
It isn’t unusual to see couples in which one person is a super saver, and the other spends like there’s no tomorrow. That can lead to many arguments, however. Money is one of the top things married couples fight over, along with chores, children, intimacy, and retirement plans. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Couples can address the issues head-on (without tears) and learn to take a joint approach to finances.
Research shows that most marital money problems stem from a lack of financial knowledge and personal money habits. Fortunately, those are relatively easy things to remedy.
Managing family finances can actually be an easy, pleasant experience when you approach it from the right angle (yes, really). We’ll give you seven valuable tips to help make managing your family finances a healthy and stress-free experience.
1. Get harmful personal habits under control
Financial issues can mount quickly. Most marital money issues come from questionable personal decisions. Several bad habits can unsettle your marital assets, such as:
Excessive materialism – Money is closely connected to the ego and how people see themselves. If acquiring and displaying possessions makes you feel good, too much of it could be wrecking your finances and marriage.
Preoccupation with your social image – In the social media era, it’s easy to become preoccupied with the image you’re trying to show the world. Maintaining a consistent look and standard can be hard on the purse strings, especially when you’re married with children.
Using money to control others – Sometimes, throwing a couple of bucks at a situation is the easiest way to get through it, but that doesn’t solve the problem for long. Using cash to deal with sticky situations and uncooperative people becomes a revolving door of handouts.
Addictive behavior – Addictive behaviors cost money. Gambling, shopping, drinking, and drugs are expensive habits. If you don’t get them under control, they can cost you your marriage, too.
Impulse buying – It’s difficult to stop impulse buying because stores and websites are designed to motivate people to buy things, especially things they didn’t know they needed. Knocking out all unnecessary items from your shopping list can save a bundle at the end of the month.
Your personality also affects your financial behavior. People who value order and authority are more apt to be stringent savers while those who care more about being spontaneous and lighthearted are prone to indiscriminate spending.
2. Create a mandatory budget
Creating a budget is critical to controlling your family’s finances. Figure out how much money will come into the household each month and how much has to go out on the essentials. Essentials are things such as:
Take care of outstanding bills with any money left after the essentials are paid. Couples often have residual debt like medical bills and car repairs. Save anything that’s left for unexpected expenses and future investments.
3. Monitor spending
Monitoring your spending is another essential step for managing your family’s finances. It entails being aware of where your money is going and adjusting your spending habits accordingly. The simplest way is to track all monthly expenses to see where to cut spending back. This move helps identify patterns in your spending habits.
4. Set goals and decide how to achieve them
Having a common goal you’re both excited about can help couples get on the same page financially. Decide what you are trying to achieve financially as a couple. Having a goal amount or a number to shoot for makes it far likelier to happen than having a vague decision to save in your head.
5. Create a bill-paying system
Set up separate accounts for all of your significant expenditures. One account for household bills, one for vacation savings, one for a holiday fund; you get the picture. This technique makes it much easier to see how much money is allotted to each bill and how much you spend on certain items every month.
6. Live within your means
It isn’t uncommon for couples to live well above their means to keep up with their friends and neighbors. The trouble is, that lifestyle only lasts so long before it comes crumbling down. The best-case scenario is that you lose all your possessions. The worst is that you go to jail. Spend less money than you make and save some. That is living within your means.
Simply talking to your spouse can go a long what to clear up any financial misunderstanding you have as a couple. You can’t swipe your cards all day without informing the other, or that account will empty faster than you think, and there will be no money for the essentials.
Don’t be one of the couples who let financial issues destroy their relationship. Get a grip on what’s happening with your money by paying more attention and sticking to your budget.
Are you interested in learning more about managing family finances?
Learning how to delegate financial roles and responsibilities can be challenging. The Love Discovery Institute is an elite emotional and cognitive wellness center that offers therapy for adults, children, and teens from licensed therapists. Our therapists understand relationships exceptionally well and help people develop significant and authentic relationships. If you are having challenges managing finances with your partner or family, are trying to decide if a joint account is right for you both, or want to discuss financial intimacy, we can help.
The team at Love Discovery is ready to welcome you with open arms. If you’re ready to start therapy to help improve your relationship with your teen or make parenting easier, make an appointment with any of our therapists today. Feeling hesitant about how we can help? Call 305.605.LOVE (5683).