Monday, December 9, 2013

Overcoming Financial Problems In Marriages

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A friend of mine told me the girl he was dating wanted to know how much he was earning. He felt that was a little over board and that that didn’t make him comfortable around her. He asked what my opinion was and before I answered, I remembered asking him specifically how long he had been with the girl and telling him I assume they were planning to get married some time. It’s been a while since we discussed that but my mind roamed back to that discussion of ours and I feel a need to discuss the issue of finance in relationships and marriages. This post embodies my opinion on finances in relationships and marriages.

Individuals make up couples and it is very important to note that we all are from different backgrounds. Love is an integral part of a relationship but there are other things that make it work. Understanding and trust are also of prime importance. Finance is a very sensitive issue and most couples walk on eggs around it. To have a blissful marriage, the issue of finance has to be approached with tact.

Using my friend’s question as a point of reference, in a Christian relationship, marriage is envisaged. Bearing this in mind, I think it is only wise for couples to discuss their financial standings at some point before marriage because things such as educational debts and renting or building houses together can cause a major stir. In Africa, there are people who have lots of dependants; whoever is getting married to such person has to understand this. Long story short, all cards should be laid on the table and should be discussed in the clearest of terms. Nobody enjoys unpleasant surprises. Everyone wants to have a secure future.

After one ties the knot, the issue of finances takes a different turn from just wanting to be secure. Kids come into the mix and most times sacrifices have to be made. Couples have issues on whether to run joint accounts and who is earning what and who pays for what. I forgot to mention earlier that being products of different upbringing could also deeply reflect on financial management and this could pose as a problem in marriages. For the ones who have educational debts or have dependants, the question as to how much the other person is ready to sacrifice without grumbling arises. In some marriages and also in the times before now, men just naturally take care of all the financial issues in the house and the wife only needs to bother her head about taking care of the house and kids. We all are not strangers to the housewife concept but as we all know times have since changed and also things could get really bad for the husband so it is not always advisable for the woman not to render any financial support. In fact in the bible, a virtuous woman is expected to help her husband in all ways.

To avoid having a strained relationship due to finances, the following things should be borne in mind:

Planning: this is crucial in order to build a solid financial foundation. Couples should have a budget bearing in mind monthly/weekly incomes. This plan ought to help in curtailing unnecessary spending.

Communication: this is closely related to understanding. Couples should be able to discuss their finances freely and open mindedly with one another. Lack of communication could lead to breakdown. The man might want a vacation while the wife thinks they should invest in real estate, all these needs to be well discussed between couples.

Trust is also very important and couples must learn to forgive each other for whatever mistakes made.

Above everything, couples must never forget that all blessings come from the Lord and so all their moneys should be treated so. Tithing should be observed and offerings should be given whenever they have to. Givers never lack.

There are lots of literature on marriage and finances, I suggest you pick one; you can also listen to Dave Ramsey’s financial Peace University.

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