8 ways to cooperate in money matters

Just the thought of this article gives most people the willies. It’s inevitable — if you are married and have an income, which all couples do, disagreements arise and sometimes even “money fights” break out.Not good.

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  • Just the thought of this article gives most people the willies. It’s inevitable — if you are married and have an income, which all couples do, disagreements arise and sometimes even “money fights” break out.

  • Not good. Many marriage experts say financial disagreements are the leading cause of divorce. So before the doors start slamming and the pots start flying learn to avoid the money fights and be calm about how to arrange the family finances.

  • 1. Communicate

  • Craig L. Israelsen states that “there are three rules when it comes to money and marriage: communication, communication, communication.” There is no way around it: couples must communicate with each other about what comes into the family pot and what goes out. Troubles come when both people ignore each other and go on their merry way spending without telling each other. Communication is the key and couples must learn the best way to communicate with each other about their finances.

  • 2. Write a budget

  • These are the facts: we spend 40 hours or so working at a job, we are paid at a certain time and then we live on what we earn. That is life. The necessity of it all is that we have to know how we are spending our money. Write down a budget on pad of paper or in a computer program or find a way you and your spouse can keep track. Recording what money comes in and what money goes out is important. After all, you are both the stewards of your financial state, so you both need to understand what is being spent and what's left over—if any.

  • 3. Use kindness

  •  Craig L. Israelsen’s article explains that couples must add kindness to the communication—not only kindness, but kindness with the spouse’s best interest in mind. “Simply being kind in our communication has a wonderful effect on relationships—particularly when it involves money.” We all want to be treated kindly, especially when there are pressures and disagreements.

  • 4. Realize there are differences

  • Men and women are different, we all know that. So when we discuss the wants and financial needs of both in a relationship we have to consider the differences between men and women and how they spend money. Men may love buying gadgets and will salivate at Best Buy, whereas women might want a nice house in a great neighborhood. These differences must be discussed and considered. So be kind (there’s that word again) and understand the wishes of both parties when finances are concerned.

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  • 5. Use the HALT Principle

  • This principle, taught in the article mentioned above, stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are four conditions which can increase the likelihood of a rash decision or harsh comment. “Generally speaking, we should not attempt important conversations or make important decisions when either person is under these conditions.” Good advice.

  • 6. Learn from the experts

  • There are so many wonderful financial experts who have books, CDs and internet classes to help couples learn how to manage money and be successful. Take advantage of all the instruction available and learn how to manage your money successfully.

  • 7. Remember to set goals

  • The outcome of all of the above is the ultimate goal of living within your means without debt, and having money left over for the fun stuff. Writing goals down can move couples in the right direction for financial freedom.

  • 8. Focus on the positive aspects of financial successes

  • Money matters shouldn’t all be negative. Planning together, goal setting, discussing ideas, problem solving and sharing hopes and dreams are positive aspects of financial success. It’s exciting to be able to follow through on a dream and see the success of hard work and discipline when both partners are in agreement.

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Valerie Steimle is the mother of nine children who lives happily on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. She is the author of five books, all about strengthening the family, including "Thoughts from the Heart."

Website: http://www.strengthenyourhome.com

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