A look at your bank statements and bills reveals that your money is slipping away like sand that slips through your fingers. You have been married for only a short time, and your spending is out of control. Is your spouse to blame? Not so fast! Think as a team, and consider some factors that may have caused both of you to get into some difficult situation.
WHY IT HAPPENS
Adjustment. If you were living at home before you got married, you may be new to the world of paying bills and sharing expenses. It could also be that you and your spouse have different approaches to money. For example, one might be more inclined to spend while the other is more inclined to save. It takes time for a couple to adjust and develop an agreed-upon method of handling money.
Real time : Vinoth, now a businessman, admits that when he was a newlywed, his poor organizational skills cost him dearly. “Because he delayed paying bills,” he says, “my wife and I ended up spending thousands of rupees in late fees. We ran out of money!”
The “invisible money” trap. It is easy to overspend when you cannot see the money leaving your wallet or purse. That may be the case if you handle most of your transactions by credit or debit card, Internet purchasing, and electronic banking. The lure of easy credit can also make it easy for newlyweds to overspend.Whatever the cause, money issues can tear at the seams of your marriage. “Most couples report money as a top problem, no matter how much they have,” says the book Fighting for Your Marriage. “Money is a ripe area for conflict.”
YOU CAN DO
Bible principle: Instead of blaming each other, work as a team to bring spending under control. Decide at the outset that you will not allow this issue to drive a wedge between you.—Ephesians 4:32.
Set up a budget. Write down all of your expenses, no matter how small or big, for a month. That will help you to figure out where your money is going and to identify any unnecessary expenditures. “You have to stop the bleeding,” says Kannan my close friend, quoted earlier. “That’s a saying in medicine and in business.”Make a list of your necessary expenses, including food, clothing, rent or mortgage, car payments, and the like. Put a ‘price tag’ next to each category, projecting how much it will cost you within a given time, perhaps a month.
Bible principle : “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish. Luke 14:28-30.
Allocate funds each month for separate expenses (food, rent, fuel, and so forth). Some do this by putting cash in envelopes, one for each expense category. If an envelope becomes depleted, they will either stop spending in that category or transfer money from another envelope.Rethink your view of possessions. Happiness does not depend on having the latest things. After all, Jesus said: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21
Often, your spending habits indicate whether you believe those words.—Bible principle: 1 Timothy 6:8.Make adjustments. “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
“Things like buy luxury items and going out to eat may sound affordable at first, but they can hurt financially in the long run,” “We had to learn to say no to some things in order to live within our means.”Although this article is directed to newlyweds, the principles discussed apply to all married couples. If you pay electronically or by credit card, keep a written record in each envelope, rather than cash.