Money Troubles: 10 Ways Couples Can Better Deal With Financially Challenging Times by 30Seconds Mom
There are plenty of hurdles that can make life complicated for couples, and one of the most challenging is having money troubles. Whether you just can’t seem to make ends meet, or if you were living the good life and then lost it all, not being financially comfortable can quickly take its toll on your relationship. How can you handle it better? Marlow and Chris Felton are authors of "Couples Money," and a husband and wife team that overcame their own financial challenges and now help other couples work through their money issues. Here are their 10 tips for dealing with a financial strain on a relationship:
- Stand together. If you’ve made a high-end investment together and it’s fallen through, it’s important that you stand together. Being married means being financially committed to each other in good times and bad. Above all else, you’re a team, so act like one.
- Make major decisions together. This is good advice even when there is an abundance of money, but it’s especially true when money is tight.
- Different ideas on what a budget means. If you’ve fallen on hard times, it’s important that you come to a meeting of the minds on what a reasonable budget is. One person may feel a hole burning through his pocket while the other is hoarding every penny. Try to come to a compromise.
- Learn to live with less keeping in mind it is temporary. Maybe you had to give up the big house. It doesn’t have to be permanent. Think of it as the launching pad to your better future.
- Find motivation other than money. If you are in financial trouble, it can be all consuming to try to deal with it. This can be counterproductive. Try to find a release through other means: exercise, education, etc.
- Dealing with family. When you have financial struggles, family can be a godsend or a curse. Prepare yourself to deal with them in a way that doesn’t burn any bridges, but doesn’t add more weight to a sinking ship. If someone has genuinely sound advice then listen.
- Parting with valuables. When you hit a financial roadblock, you may be forced to part with valuables. This is the time to take a hard look at what is really necessary versus what is just wanted and could hold financial value for you.
- When you’re at the bottom, you can only go up. When things get to be their worst, it’s time to think of new directions. You may have lost everything, but now you don’t have anything left to lose. When you’re in it together, you can hold each other’s hand and move forward.
- Appreciate what you have. OK, so you’ve lost the big house and the nice car. That’s not so great, but you do still have life (and each other). For us personally, we counted our blessings and appreciated each other more as a result of going through tough times together.
- Don’t let money be the source of tension. When it comes down to it, money is only as important as you let it be. When you are a couple, it’s more important that you love each other and don’t let anything else take away from that.
Learn more by visiting CouplesMoney.com.