Management of finances is critical to the happiness and success of any relationship, including marriage. Parents have a sacred duty of providing for the physical needs of their children. A vital key to a happy family is management of money. Apart from physical survival, the emotional survival of a family depends on financial tranquillity and stability. Money can destroy or enhance a marriage and is capable of leading to name-calling, mistrust, dishonesty, selfishness, or even divorce. According to research on what causes family financial problems, money problems result from a lack of financial understanding like taking a home improvement loan, relationship problems as well as personal behaviour problems.
Personal Financial Behaviour
Certain financial problems are simply as a result of a poor understanding of finances, leading to unwise decisions. However, according to research, most financial problems result from behavioural, non-financial problems like impulse buying, addictive behaviour, excessive materialism, use of money to control others, and preoccupation with social image. Personalities in marriage affect financial behaviour. A carefree wife who values spontaneity may resist budgeting, financial planning and saving. A husband who values authority, order and control on the other hand may avoid spending money on anything not considered a necessity. Such a husband may also experience problems sharing financial control with his fiance.
Financial Behaviour and Relationships
In addition to the individual financial behaviour of the partners in a marriage, their relationship has an incredible impact on money. Researchers have identified communication, emotional intimacy, trust and love, and mutual intimacy as the qualities of marriage capable of affecting financial security. If a marriage is plagued by poor communication, mistrust, disrespect, selfishness, or manipulation, it is likely to experience money problems. Examples of relationship issues that can lead to financial distress include poor communication, manipulation of a spouse, and ill-defined roles. Effective communication concerning a family's financial goals is vital to money management. Each partner should find out their spouse's attitude towards money as well as understand their financial goals. Consultations should always be made prior to making large purchases or when spending extra money such as gifts, tax refunds or bonuses.
Another factor involves emotional intimacy. One should ask themselves whether they understand how their spouse feels about money. For instance, a husband should try to understand if money matters make his wife anxious. Also, a wife should understand in case the husband is inclined to save for a rainy day since his family experienced money problems as a kid.
Ideas of Effective Financial Management
It is advisable to seek understanding in marriage and bear in mind that each partner has different standards, values and goals that influence their view on money and its uses. It is also good to communicate lovingly and openly with a spouse about the family's financial patterns. Together, the couple should assess the family's financial rules and figure out the ones to be kept and those to be changed. It is also a good idea to plan a family activity that will teach all members on family finances.