No need to argue
Tips help couples take the sting out of family finances
MONEY can be tough enough to manage on your own, but when you’re a mum juggling the family finances along with your spouse it can be even more difficult. If you’re sick of fighting about money, put an end to the madness with these tips:
◗ GET INTERESTED IN YOUR FINANCES: If you’re not interested in “boring” money, banking and bills, then it’s time to get interested. Part of parents’ responsibilities is to ensure their children are taken care of financially. This does not mean you have to bring in money yourself, but you need to be aware of finances to successfully meet your family’s needs.
◗ BOTH PARTIES SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THE FINANCES: Victor Sun from Fox Symes and Associates who provide budgeting and debt solutions, says couples should regularly review their finances. Make a monthly date to sit down together to go through accounts, bills and goals such as an upcoming holiday. “If you don’t regularly review and plan, things can also really go downhill if an unexpected thing happens like the fridge blows up,” Mr Sun said.
◗ SET EACH OTHER ‘POCKET MONEY’: Often, the most inflammatory situations occur when one partner is a saver and the other is a spender. Stop the insanity by agreeing on a spending limit. For example, you could both allocate each other $100 a month to spend on anything. If one person wants to go above the limit, they can call the other first to clear it which shows consideration. This allocation should also be applied to stay-at-home mums who aren’t earning money, because their contribution to the family is just as vital as the breadwinner’s.
◗ AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN: If either of you are constantly griping about paying bills or not setting aside money for kids’ schooling, then set up automatic drafts and repayments instead of rehashing the same old argument.
◗ FIGHT FAIR, NOT DIRTY: Do statements like “You’re always spending money” and “You never pay bills on time” sound familiar? If so, they’re not doing any good. A better way to get your message across is to say something like, “I get frustrated when bills aren’t paid on time. How can I help you?”
◗ Stop the madness and start making plans about the family’s cash flow.