Just like any busi­ness or part­ner­ship, monthly meet­ings re­gard­ing money should be had to man­age the house­hold’s fi­nances.

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILYTIME OUTLOOK: -

SO­CI­ETY DIC­TATES that mar­riage is a le­gal part­ner­ship where both per­sons have de­cided to en­ter a life­long com­mit­ment to build­ing as a unit. But let’s say that the mar­ried cou­ple earns a to­tal of $200,000 a month, with one per­son earn­ing $150,000 while the other earns $50,000. Can each spouse still re­spect and love the other, with­out fos­ter­ing feel­ings of guilt and re­sent­ment? In­come in­equal­ity is recog­nised as one of the top causes of un­nec­es­sary ten­sion in many re­la­tion­ships. Since this is a part­ner­ship, how do you de­ter­mine who spends the money? Out­look Mag­a­zine takes a look at some of the is­sues sur­round­ing in­come in­equal­ity and ex­plores a few ways on how to rec­tify those prob­lems.

There are sev­eral is­sues that will come from in­come in­equal­ity, but we’ve high­lighted the five most com­mon ones:

1. RE­SENT­MENT:

The spouse that earns the most money within the house­hold may feel re­sent­ment to­wards his/her spouse, es­pe­cially if the spouse who earns less, spends too much money on non-es­sen­tials. This spouse may feel like they are be­ing taken ad­van­tage of be­cause of this im­bal­ance. He or she will think they need to work harder or longer hours to make more money to fi­nance the house­hold.

2. POWER STRUG­GLE:

Money is as­so­ci­ated with power. This in­cludes the power to get what one de­sires, the power of in­flu­ence and power over other peo­ple. More of­ten than not, the pri­mary in­come earner be­lieves that he or she has power over the spouse and has the right to make de­ci­sions about where the fam­ily goes, what the spouse does and the dy­nam­ics of the fam­ily. The spouse who makes less money is usu­ally at the mercy of the spouse who earns more.

3. GUILT:

More of­ten than not the part­ner earn­ing less money will feel guilty about spend­ing money they did not gen­er­ate them­selves. Usu­ally, they will re­frain from pur­chas­ing things for them­selves be­cause of the guilt of not

4. LY­ING ABOUT MONEY

Dis­hon­esty is an­other is­sue that may arise from in­come in­equal­ity. If a spouse is spend­ing more than their fair share of the fam­ily in­come, they will try to cover up their spend­ing habits to avoid con­flict.

5. OVER­SPEND­ING

The spouse earn­ing more money may feel en­ti­tled to spend­ing more on their wants and needs. This may leave the other spouse with not enough to pur­chase goods for them­selves.

Five ways how to solve these prob­lems and avoid con­flict:

1. TALK ABOUT IT

Open­ing the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the most ef­fec­tive way of solv­ing any is­sues within a re­la­tion­ship. Just re­mem­ber to show com­pas­sion and un­der­stand­ing when hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion and avoid ac­cus­ing your part­ner of wrong­do­ings.

2. CRE­ATE A BUD­GET

This will clear up where the money is go­ing and also cre­ate a mu­tual agree­ment on how the money is spent by each spouse.

3. HAVE A FI­NAN­CIAL MEET­ING

Just like any busi­ness or part­ner­ship, monthly meet­ings re­gard­ing money should be had to man­age the house­hold’s fi­nances. This is the per­fect place to plan for in­com­ing ex­penses and make each other aware of the over­all fi­nan­cial state of the fam­ily.

4. BE FLEX­I­BLE

If your spouse needs ex­tra help with money, maybe there was a re­cent death or a fam­ily mem­ber needs as­sis­tance. Try spend­ing less this month to fa­cil­i­tate their needs. This will be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated by them.

5. MAKE THE WORK 50/50

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