One of the major battlefields in families is the issue of handling finances. Fully one-half of couples that seek professional counseling report severe money problems as a major issue. Only a small percentage of these couples are in financial difficulty because of inadequate income or too little income. Many are in financial difficulty because they have been immature and unrealistic in their attitudes about money.
While we must recognize that money does constitute problems in many families, we must remember that for every problem there is a solution. The following are some items that can help:
- We must realize that money is a resource and not the source. It is a tool to help you reach your financial goals.
- Track the expenses of everyone in the family. Even the small expenses. You cannot effectively manage money if you do not know where it is being spent. Once you know where it is being spent, you will see where changes can be made in spending.
- Be realistic in making financial decisions. Figures do not lie. If the numbers do not support a new digital TV, why are you buying one?
- Set both long- and short-range goals for your families’ finances. Write them down make them plain and refer to them often. Make your goals SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and within some designated Time frame)
- Keep in mind that the family income is our income, the families, and should be treated as such.
- Discuss your attitudes and emotions about money and expenditures openly and honestly as a family. Listen to your mate and children…communicate!
- Both husband and wife should understand every intricate detail of the family finances. We are all unique individuals and the attitudes we have about money can contribute to a solution to a financial problem. All the spending plans in the world will not compensate for the ignorance of a partner in financial matters and communication.
- Credit buying should not result in payments of more than 15% of your income. This means for everyone hundred dollars you earn, you should not have more than a fifteen-dollar dept payment excluding rent or mortgage and car.
- Do not acquire new debt until you have paid off the old debt.
Remember the amount of your income is considerably less important than the way you handle it.
This is true on every economic level!
People look to an increase in income as the way to solve their financial difficulties. If there is one thing that poor money managers have in common, it is the idea that they do not earn enough. Rarely does it occur to them that the real cause of their financial trouble is that they spend on things that do not fit with their financial goals and objectives if they have goals and objectives at all.
Many times, the relief is short-lived and the real cause of their financial difficulties, bad spending habits, failure to plan, lack of discipline, money attitudes, eventually catches up with them and they are right back in the same position they were in.
When you make deliberate choices about money, with full awareness of the consequences and a willingness to accept them, you are acting in a mature way concerning money.
Keep in mind that money is good for three things: spending, saving, and giving. If you do this right, with your financial goals and plans in mind, you will have the right attitude about money and begin to win with your finances.
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