Money problems in marriage are often the result of buried emotions. The math behind such calculation is always simple and any simple calculator will balance it.
According to divorce lawyer, Ms. Wendy Jaffe, issues related to household finances account for one of the nine ‘symptoms’ of divorce. She says, “At the first sign of money problems in a marriage, take action to start resolving the situation. You may find that proactively tackling the issue could help make the marriage even stronger.”
Define the role money plays in your marriage
It’s helpful for both partners to address this question. The way money is handled within a marriage is often times a reaction, or symptom, of underlying issues. Is one spouse’s overspending a reaction to an underlying problem, such as feelings of being controlled? Does one spouse overspend on gifts for the other? In the first situation, money serves as a weapon. In the second situation, money is tool for expressing love. Money can be used to supplement all sorts of emotions. What does the way you handle money reveal about your feelings about your marriage? What is your spouse revealing?
Discuss the money issue in plain language with your spouse
Take a business-style approach to the situation and leave personal matters and emotions out of the equation. Think of this as an official business meeting to embark on a new project for your marriage. Set realistic, actionable and measurable financial management goals that you both can reasonably achieve. For instance, a goal would be to pay off your debt by a certain date or save at least N300, 000 over the next year.
Prepare a budget
Create a firm budget for you and your spouse. You can create a budget in a standard spreadsheet program and update as needed (but only with the consent of both you and your spouse). Now that negative emotions have been dealt with, you are now ready to crunch the numbers. It’s okay for one person to do the legwork. However, both spouses must meet regularly to make budget decisions. Remember to deal with negative emotions as they come up. Be sure that each spouse is valued as an equal partner in the financial relationship.
Finally, accept the numbers as what they are- simply numbers. By refusing to place your self-worth on your money, you will be better able to make sound financial decisions.