Learn from the experience and mistakes of other when it comes to personal finance. Money and marriage can be at harmony if you plan your finances carefully.
If you are married there is a high chance that you and your spouse have fought about money. One of the common mistakes is going to a marriage without it. Yes I know what you are thinking. I sound like a heartless materialistic douche focusing on money. But the reality is money is very important in the marriage. How are you going to feed your family, buy medicines, pay for your children’s school, pay for your travel, buy a car and home? Love won’t pay for it, money would.
When I got married I was nearly 30 and my wife was two years younger. I did not have savings then and my credit card debt was starting to pile up. Add that to my government loans and my take home pay is not enough to pay the rent and bill. We still got married anyway because I love her. But if I knew what I know now, I would have done it differently. I would still marry her off course but I would have waited to pay off my debt.
A year after my daughter was born and I was extremely happy. But I became anxious. How am I going to buy her milk, diapers, vitamins and vaccine? How am I going to pay for her studies in the future? My financial situation did not improve. I still have a ton of debts and acquired more as the time passed by. I did not know what to do?
Everything was going wrong. I asked myself I made the tight decision. It was not the right one for so many reasons. I hit rock bottom and I did not know how to pick myself up. And then a miracle happened. I got laid off but I got a severance package that helped me with my finances. I was saved or rather we were saved. We were able to pay off our debt and I cut all my credit card which was another mistake that I failed to realize until it was too late.
But I did not learn from my previous mistakes. I acquired a new set of debts. I was back where I started. The money that I got when I got laid off did not last long. But I did not get to debt until a few years later. Over the years I got promoted and had a pay increase that helped a lot. But raising a kid adds additional expenses. I have been paying it off slowly but there are days that I fear and excited about the pay day. Excited because I would be able to buy necessities but feared it because payday means I have to pay the bills, rent and debt as well.
Remember I said that I should have delayed the marriage? We do get by. But we are missing moments were we could make good memories. Instead going on a trip that the family could look back years for now, we have to prioritize our basic needs. Instead of enrolling my child to a workshop that she could benefit from, we have to prioritize other things.
Here are some mistake made by married couple with their personal finance
1. Credit card
Credit card is a powerful tool. You have to respect that power or it won’t respect you. Most people consider credit card as an extension of their wallet which is the wrong way to go. Buying things with credit card is not a bad thing as long as you pay on time. The late payment interest would kill you and would be added on your debt overtime. Remember I said that it was a mistake to cut all my credit cards? Yes it. I should have maintained at least one with a good credit standing. It would be easier to apply for a housing loan or a car loan if you have one.
This is another mistake that people make. A lot of couples don’t make a budget. We payday comes they start buying their basic needs without considering other obligations that needs to be pay off. When going to the grocery some do not prepare a grocery list. They end up buying their basic necessities and when they come across something which is on sale they immediately buy them. Even if it not on sale they seem to think to that they need it at that time, people simple put them on their grocery basket and boom your budget is mess up.
Managing personal finance is difficult to learn at first but this is not impossible. A simple step is to create a budget plan. There are budget apps that you could download in your smartphone. Create a budget sheet. List down what you need and do your best to abide by them.
3. Not talking about finances
I made this mistake earlier on. Talking about finances is difficult and sometimes the cause of our fights. The problem is when we were not talking about our expenses, we end up fighting anyway. I have made a lot of promises that someday things will get better but when asked I don’t have a solid action plan to improve our financial situation.
Money is one of the most common reasons why married could fight. In some ways you could say that it makes the marriage go round. Sounds too materialistic right? But that is the reality. Picking up those debts earlier in our marriage affects our future of my child, our retirement and the present situation. Instead of enjoying the precious moments of our daughter’s childhood we have to postpone a lot of things. Most common words or phrase that we use is “someday”, “maybe” and “if we can afford”.
It is critical to learn how to manage your personal finance if you want to have your best life now. If you have challenges doing that you can find a certified financial planner or a financial adviser. Important thing is that you have to admit to yourself if you are facing challenges financially and you also you need the courage to seek help if you need it.
You have heard the phrase “learn from experience”. I hope that you don’t experience financial difficulties yourself. Learn from the experience of others and their mistakes.
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