No need to ar­gue

Tips help cou­ples take the sting out of fam­ily fi­nances

Central and North Burnett Times - - WEEKEND - with Jody Allen Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stay­ath­ome­mum.com.au

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?”

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

◗ Stop the mad­ness and start mak­ing plans about the fam­ily’s cash flow.

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