Money issues can break even the strongest of marriages by adding mental anguish, stress, frustration, and tension. According to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, “Marriage in the African American community appears to vary based on educational attainment and income, especially among men as potential marriage partners for African American women. Marriage appears to contribute greatly to the economic well-being of African-American families,” (www.healthymarriageinfo.org). Based on this point, economic stability plays a large role in the quality of marriage for African-American couples. This is not surprising considering financial issues are the leading cause of marital stress and divorce. Trying to achieve financial stability can be challenging, but not impossible.
- Start by creating a budget. You need an estimate of your incomes and expenditure for the month and year. This will help you understand how much extra spending money you have over the expenditure; keep in mind most financial advisors think it is a good idea to save three months of salary in an emergency fund.
- Make sure you and your spouse share the same financial goals for the future. If one wants to save to pay-off the house and the other wants to buy a boat, you might need to have a sit-down discussion over financial priorities.
- Meet with a financial planner to set achievable goals. This can help you both to get on the right path for budgeting and setting up investment opportunities for the future.
- If there are debts that need to be paid off, start with the smallest debt first by putting the most money toward it and then move on to the next lowest bill to pay off. Getting the smallest bill paid off will motivate you to continue lowering your debt.
- Live within your means. The Joneses may seem like they have it all, but you may not see their car payments, credit card bills, and thirty-year home mortgage. Keeping up with the Joneses has gotten over half of Americans in debt. Separate your needs from your wants. Remember your financial goals before you buy something.
Try to enjoy the simpler things in life. Some examples would be walking, going to a state park, attending local community events, cooking at home together, watching movies on the couch, and working out together. Don’t focus on the things you cannot afford during that time. There is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to money issues, and a marriage can survive the associated stresses. it. By setting a plan and working together to overcome the debt problems, you can have a healthy marriage while getting out of debt.
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center
Forbes – 10 Ways To Prevent Money From Ruining Your Marriage
NPR – How To Keep Money From Messing Up Your Marriage