Most couples face serious challenges when it comes to dealing with finances. In fact, many research studies have shown that finances are among the top reasons why couples argue. It gets more challenging when children get into the picture. Couples argue over how to spend money, how to save, invest, share bills, etc. This is usually the case since most marital decisions revolve around money. For instance, you need to consider your finances as a family when deciding where to live, the type of car/s to buy, where to take your children to school, whether you should take a loan, etc.
Furthermore, most people are uncomfortable discussing finances even with their spouses, yet it’s one of the most crucial subjects for couples keen on staying together in peace. This is why family finance is so important. To be able to avoid most family problems, here are the most important family finance tips to consider.
1. Develop mutual finance goals:
This is by far one of the most important family finance tips to consider. As a couple, you must develop finance goals that are acceptable to both of you and your family as a whole otherwise you will end up having endless arguments about money. You must agree from the onset who does what as well as what you intend to do with your money to avoid avenues for arguments. In a nutshell, family finance goals should be developed and accomplished jointly. The finance roles of each spouse should be clear from the onset.
2. Maintain 100% honesty:
This goes without saying. You should be 100% honest with your spouse on every issue including finances from the onset. Most spouses argue about money because they feel shortchanged. This is why it’s advisable to be open about how much money you earn so that your spouse doesn’t have unreasonable expectations about what you can afford to contribute. You should also be open about the loans you have, your credit history, credit cards, etc. from the onset since such things have an effect on your access to credit as a couple/family.
3. Have a budget and follow it:
To avoid overspending and running out of money, you must prepare a family budget and follow it. Running out of money prematurely always causes a lot of tension in families. Preparing a family budget will help to keep your spending in check. You will be able to avoid living beyond your means. You will also be able to know exactly where your money goes which will in turn help in cutting down on expenses if you need to. It doesn’t matter how much money you and your spouse earn. If you don’t have a budget, you won’t be able to move forward financially.
4. Consult each other when making “major” purchases:
Since everyone has different ideas on how they should spend their own money and you seize having your own money when you start a family, it’s important to consult especially on major purchases like cars, homes, expensive jewellery, etc. Consulting your spouse is important because it makes them feel valued as an equal partner in the marriage. Furthermore, there may be a better way to spend the money in question, and you wouldn’t know this if you don’t consult. Furthermore, you would want to be consulted by your spouse when he/she is making a major purchase so, do the same.
5. Set financial goals:
Budgeting isn’t enough since it focuses on how you should spend whatever you make. You need to think of growing your income as a couple so that you can afford the things you want in the future. Financial goals are critical for growth. They help couples avoid the stress associated with being stuck in the same social class for years. If you set solid investment goals now, you should be able to afford a house or new car in the future which eliminates financial stress in the future.
6. Review your financial progress periodically:
Having a budget and following it isn’t enough. You need to review your financial progress often to ensure you are on track. Furthermore, money discussions shouldn’t be confined to budgeting. You should also review the progress of your long-term financial goals. For instance, you should discuss progress on your savings and investment accounts. Reviewing your finances periodically helps to identify and solve potential problems. It also helps families focus on achieving their goals.
Most family problems revolve around finances. Most couples argue because of lack of enough money, misappropriation of money, dishonesty when dealing with money, name it! The above information highlights the basics of family finance every family should follow to avoid common family finance problems.