Do you have arguments with your partner regarding money? It’s really not surprising if you do because financial matters are some of the most common causes of arguments between spouses. Those arguments can lead to other things and become cause for major misunderstandings.
Money management is important, even critical to the happiness of a family. You need to provide for the needs of your children for example. In order to do that, you have to be able to handle your finances in the right way. Money matters can improve or destroy a relationship. Financial problems have often been cited as one of the reasons why couples divorce. Don’t let things reach that point for you. If you know that you are having some problems when it comes to your finances then make the necessary steps now so you can correct it. Do not wait for those problems to become more complicated.
Your Personal Financial Behaviour
The lack of financial knowledge is usually blamed as the reason why a lot of people fall into financial trouble. Experts point out to the fact that the proper way of handling finances is never really taught on the basic level in schools. While they do make a point, there are other factors too that can cause financial problems. In fact most money problems are caused by non-financial behaviour. Here are some of those non-financial behaviours that can lead to money problems:
- Controlling others through money
- Impulse buying
- Being preoccupied with social image
- Addictive behaviour
When you are obsessed when it comes to controlling members of your family then you might resort to the use of money to achieve that. The problem is that you might not always have the financial resources to sustain such control. When you or anyone in your family is excessively materialistic, the tendency is for you to overspend. You would be spending more than what you can afford.
Another non-financial behaviour that can lead to money problems is impulse buying. This is when you buy things that you see without planning for the purchase. Such unplanned expenses can wreck your budget. These days a lot of people are preoccupied with their social image and because of that they spend money in order to maintain appearances. The sad part is if their financial capacity cannot meet the social image that they have chosen, that can lead them to spend more than what they can afford. Finally, addictive behaviour can also disrupt the finances of a family.
Your attitude towards money can also play a huge role in determining your financial behaviour. Your parents might have argued all the time about money when you were younger so you might be unwilling to discuss financial matters with your partner. It could also be that you grew up in a well-to-do family and so you could have a hard time in seeing the value in having a sound financial plan or a budget. Those are personal attitudes that can have an impact on how you handle your finances.
Relationship Problems That Can Affect Finances
Experts who have studied the impact of relationships on financial matters have identified several issues that can cause money problems. Poor communications between you and your partner can lead to financial problems. If you have poor communications you might not be able to plan for your finances in the right away. It is important when you come up with a financial plan that you both agree to it. That’s not something that only one of you should decide. If you do not talk to your partner before you make large purchases then you have a problem already.
If you are in a relationship where control and manipulation plays a part then you would never be able to come up with a sensible financial plan. In relationships like that money is always used as a tool for control. If your relationship lacks respect and trust then it would also be hard to come up with a sensible financial plan.
Managing Your Family Finances Sensibly
Here are some ideas that you can use on how to manage your family finances in a sensible way. Remember that a good relationship is a two way street. You have to learn how to give and take when you are in a relationship.
Understanding is the Key
In a relationship, the key is to be understanding in order to make it work. That applies not just in financial matters but in making a relationship work in general. You have to understand for example that each and every individual is different. Your partner has her/his own views and beliefs that might be different from yours. You have to respect and understand those differences. You need to open up your communications with your partner when it comes to your finances. You have to be open enough to be able to tell him/ her that there are problems.
Changing Financial Problem
When you know that you have a financial problem, you have to take the necessary steps in order to fix those problems. The first step that you need to take would be to come up with a written budget that you can use. Then you have to sit down with your partner and agree on the roles that each of you would have to play when it comes to your finances. Taking care of family’s money should be the responsibility of both of you and not just one.
It is crucial that you stick to purchases that are matched to your income level. When your family keeps on buying things that you cannot afford then you can never get your finances on the right track. You should also recognize the need of each family member to buy things and to spend money. That’s why you have to arrange so that each member of your family would have an allowance.
Cut Your Family’s Expenses
Before you focused on your family’s finances, chances are that your family was overspending. You were spending more than what you can really afford. It’s time to put a stop to that. You have to cut down on your expenses. The most common cause of overspending is impulse buying. You have to learn how you can control that. Learn how you can come up with a budget and you have to be able to stick to that budget of yours.
Another effective way of cutting your family’s expenses is setting a spending limit. This limit is the highest amount that either partner can spend before consulting the other. You can set this amount based on your situation. Another way of cutting down on expenses would be saving on the interest that you have to pay for your debts. You should also avoid using your credit card if you can.
Thinking about the Future
When you think about your family’s finances, you should consider the future. You should consider the time when your children would go to college or when you can no longer work. Those are things that you have to plan for now.
Taking care of your family’s finances is not an easy thing to do especially if you are not used to it. But by arming yourself with the right sort of knowledge you can do it. Having room for a lot of understanding and being open to communications can also go a long way.