Money makes the world go round they say. I mean, what would we do without money? Heck, I would not even be able to write this because I need money for internet connection. When your family grows, the need and want for more money arises. The money conversation is one which, if not spoken of initially, can be one that causes a lot of strife. In fact, many divorce cases are centered on the money issue, and it can cost you years of torment in court cases.
When dating Rachel, I really had no money. Actually, she had more money than me, both from her parents allowance and from her businesses. I met this girl when she was at some entrepreneurial peak, a level she has not seized to be at to date. Rachel used to sell ladies chiffon dresses and blouses in University, had leased out some land off the campus to farm chicken and was working in a restaurant. Her business acumen struck me, being one of the ways that she was able to fund her student election campaign in the first place. So here I was, with a woman who was loaded with cash (by all student standards), and she had no apologies for it. To mean that, I was the one who had to learn the money making ropes.
Having been wired that money is only made through getting a job, I had never really acquired the freedom that self-employment brought…but my lack of getting a job after university stretched me to the core. Through the course of our relationship, both of us have worked, stayed home jobless with children, dropped a gazillion applications, but never fought about money. Whereas I am tasked as man to provide for my home, circumstances at times may have rendered me unable to. Met with a lot of grace from Rachel, I have been able to navigate those seasons and emerged stronger. How have we been able to not fight about money when we lacked it and when we got it? It was not magic. There are some principles which we carry forth that have guided our ship to date.
Learn your financial habits early
Are you a spender or a saver? Knowing the answer to this statement saved us from a myriad of arguments to date. We needed to identify who among us was more inclined to spending money and who had their first instinct on keeping it to the bank. Rachel is the spender, and when we have money, she is more likely to be the one who has ideas on the million ways in which we can spend it. Being that I am more inclined to saving, we had to come to a consensus. To help plan out our finances well, a certain agreed percentage has to go to the savings kitty lest we find ourselves with zero in our account after participating in a spending spree. I also have to be open to Rachel’s ideas on activities to spend money on, because if I did not, life would be super boring, with me having money but never knowing the value of owning it in the first place.
Speak about your finances or financial history openly
Are you bankrupt, loaded, and by what degree? This is a conversation that you should not skip from the beginning. If your partner does not know your financial position, you are literally risking their life! I know it is common for us to consider money a private affair. Allow yourself assistance by laying bare all that there is about your financial history. It helps you two to plan ahead and be able to identify the financial gaps you have as a family, plus how to fill them.
Carry the provision burden together
Times are different and women are more empowered unlike before. To mean that, if both of you are interested in pushing the family forward, you should be able to give ideas on how to improve your family financial status together. Understanding that the financial status of the family is your responsibility as both of you will help around and will really go a long way. Communicate with your partner and identify what both of you have skills in, and are comfortable doing to improve your finances.
Have personal and joint cash kitty
My mine VS Your money. Who calls the shots when it comes to money? Everyone likes to have some sense of autonomy when it comes to money. As such, discuss your desires around using money and be able to have both a personal kitty of spending and saving money and a joint one. It avoids any of you from feeling like you are locked up, without having any form of secrecy between the two of you.
Plan your family budget together
Budgeting for the family with your spouse enables both of you to share ideas as well as take responsibility for the financial decisions you both make. You can both express what needs to be done, and set timelines together as well as delegate on who should do what.
Be open about your financial failures
Many of us could be struggling as to how to tell their partners that a certain deal has failed. You should not be afraid that about expressing yourself. If you have a great communication model with your spouse, it is possible to let them know when you are having or projecting any financial struggles. This will save you from carrying the burden alone.
There you have it. Plan your family finances and have a breeze thereafter.