How to Prevent Money-related Conflicts in Families?
Money fights are quite common among couples and in the current economic situation, it is common for them to stress more over financial problems. Due to huge household expenses, families could incur huge credit card debt and the problem could slowly escalate. Money problems could threaten the very fabric of marriage and relationship. Many families have reached a breaking point that constant conflicts or divorce may occur. When money is always the central issue in conflicts, it is important for couples to maintain positive communication. They should try to be honest and open with one another.
Money problems could occur due to differences in principles. As an example, one person could be extremely frugal, while the other could be really spendthrift. The spendthrift spouse could spend so much money that things that the frugal spouse has saved will be negated. This could cause huge resentment for the frugal spouse, especially if the reckless spouse doesn’t seem to understand his or her mistake. The spendthrift spouse could resent the frugal spouse as well, due to the incessant lecturing. In general, we should know that the whole situation doesn’t happen by accident. This could be caused by various mistakes and disagreements among spouses.
This should be a good time to make a plan and properly communicate. The couple need to sit down and figure out things that they can do to reduce their expenses. They need to figure out the present expenses, make a sensible budget and always stick to it. We should consider this as a kind of business plan. At the end of the month, the family should have a surplus income, so they will be able to allocate the extra money for savings or replay debts. When making a plan, we should figure out our budget and make a list of bills that we need to pay. It means that we should allocate enough money for food, rent, utilities, as well as repaying car loans and student loans.
Families will be able to improve their situations after figuring out their expenses. In general, we should make sure to find ways to find a left over surplus. If we don’t we would be in trouble. There are steps that we can do, such as moving to a smaller, cheaper apartment, if we don’t need the extra rooms in it. Much of the surplus should be allocated to savings and other positive items, such as investment. Savings shouldn’t be touched, except for emergencies, such as for medical-related expenses and others. It means that we don’t need to use credit cards to pay for emergency expenses. We will be able to avoid debts and paying expensive charges associated with them.
A family has decent financial situation if the amount of savings account, after subtracted by outstanding debts and utilities, is equal with eight month’s worth of income. This is a good goal that the family should achieve to eradicate chance of conflict. When there are debts, we should eliminate the one with the highest interest rate first.