The Bible says "the love of money is the root of all evil" and I think we would all agree that this is true. In marriage "the lack of money can be a root of evil"! Not long ago statistics showed that more couples divorce over money than any other issue, including infidelity.
When I raised a question about the challenges facing marriage today, it was no surprise to see money on the list. Today more than ever couples are facing financial challenges. So what are some ways to overcome them? While this may seem complicated there are a few places to start.
Track your money. As a couple it's a good idea to sit down and find out exactly where you stand in your finances. You won't be able to conquer what you don't confront. Get your pencil, paper and bills out in the open and a calculator would be good also. Figure out your incoming (income) and your outgoing bills. Now you have a place to start from. This should be done regularly to keep things in check as well as to track progress.
Take advantage of your strengths. Suppose one of you has been handling the bills but you decide the other might do better with the money. Make the switch that's best for the family and future of your finances. Sometimes change is good.
Trim the budget. Find out where to begin to cut back. Cable tv, extra cell phones, eating out on a regular? Maybe there is something that can be sold, extra appliances, a tv, furniture etc. Sometimes you may have to downsize your stuff in order to upgrade your life. This may mean getting a smaller more economical car or moving to a smaller home or apartment. Do you have a basement or garage to rent out?
Target debt. Wage an all out assault against consumer debt. Systematically pay off one debt at a time. As you pay off a debt invest the money into paying off another until all debt is paid off. Start with the debt you can pay off quickly in order to see results soon.
Again, these are just a few ways to meet the challenges of money in marriage, clearly there are many more but you have to start somewhere. Why not start now? Why not start today? More to come in the next post. Stay tuned!
Next post. Should we lend money to friends and relatives?