Did you know that financial issues are among the leading causes of divorce worldwide? Differences in money management styles between partners and lack of communication skills necessary to navigate financial disagreements can lead to divorce or separation. But differences and communication issues aside, there are bad financial habits that would wreak havoc on even the strongest of relationships. They are…
Poor spending habits: Individuals are socialised differently and this affects their priorities and lifestyles. Someone who has been brought up in a wealthy family may not understand the need to budget or forego some luxuries. On the other hand, someone who has been brought up in want may tend to be very careful with money. It is therefore imperative for couples to discuss how they will live their life taking into account their combined income and budget accordingly. Always agree on how to spend your income and remain faithful to the plan.
Being too controlling with money: You need to see your spouse as an equal partner in the marriage despite the income they bring on the table. Let each one of you have a say on how money is to be spent and sometimes this may mean to agree to disagree. Consider each other’s opinion before making the final decision regarding any project you want to embark on.
Separating the money: It is said that united we stand and divided we fall and when it comes to family finances, the saying rings true. The ‘your money is yours, and my money is mine’ mentality will not take you far in as far as development is concerned. For you to achieve your financial goals as a family you need to speak in one voice and this can only happen when you pool your resources together. This helps to minimise money-related fights. This calls for trust and hence partners should behave in a way that cultivates this trust rather than cast shadows of doubt.
Being secretive about finances: Financial secrets wreck relationships. Being secretive with money can erode trust from your partner hence spelling doom to your relationship. Be open to your spouse on your income and spending habits. Work together on projects you want to undertake and even about saving. Let your partner know how much you are saving or what you are doing with the loan you took. This will help them understand why you are making certain decisions and of course, if it’s a worthwhile investment they will support it.
Too much debt: Many people get married without really knowing their partner’s financial liabilities and it is only when in marriage that they realise their partner is knee-deep in debt or is shouldering many responsibilities back home. This will definitely be a cause of chaos in the marriage. If you are already in too much debt, let your partner know about it and then discuss ways of clearing it. This may mean cutting down on some expenses so that you can channel that money to offsetting the loan.
Gambling: With the sports betting craze going on not only in this country but also worldwide, many people have been caught up in the gambling trap. If you really must gamble, let your partner know about it and resist the temptation of using money that has been set aside for family use. It is foolhardy to use money for rent, food or even school fees to gamble. A point of caution though; many gamblers slowly lose control over how much time and money they spend gambling and it eventually ruins them and their families.
Attempting to keep up with the Joneses: Many families have fallen in an effort to keep up with their friends or neighbours. The thing with this habit is that it leads to unhealthy competition, unnecessary debt and impulse spending. This will definitely put a dent in your pockets, a dent that you may never fully recover from. It is important that you both learn to live within your means and not according to society’s standards.
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