Copyright 2008, Dr. Taffy Wagner
Given the current economy, many of you already know it is taking its toll in various forms on households вЂ“ job loss, kids are being taken out of daycare because it costs too much and it is causing stress in the marriage. Yes, I said it more STRESS. When financial challenges and issues surface a couple of things can happen:
a) Blame game вЂ“ one blames the other for the financial issues in the household
b) Second job вЂ“ primary вЂњbreadwinnerвЂќ gets a second job if they do not have a part-time business
c) Avoidance вЂ“ it is not discussed at all.
Personally, I believe the husband and wife should come together and make some hard choices. LetвЂ™s just say for example the husband has lost his job and have not gotten employment and you want to make sure everything is covered. What do you do? I recommend you take a look at your complete financial picture and see if it fits in these parameters:
a) No more than 36% of your monthly income should go towards debt
b) 10% of your monthly income should go towards savings or emergency fund
c) 15% to 20% should go towards groceries
If those numbers are out of bounds, be honest and see where you can reduce expenditures. I know for us one of the area that we would reduce is groceries because we probably are higher because my husband has always liked to out to restaurants. I would cut back on that and put more groceries in the house.
Understand it is tough when a man loses a job because it affects them even greater. As you are talking about the household finances it is not necessary to point the finger but be solution oriented. Money should not become bigger than your marriage. When you stood at the altar, you said вЂњFor richer or for poorer.вЂќ Believe me there will be seasons of plenty in a marriage and seasons of tightness. You are not alone. Talk about money throughout the life of your marriage not just when a problem arise.
Copyright 2008, Dr. Taffy Wagner is the Creator of Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and Debt Stops At The Altar financial education program.