During difficult and stressful times, financial matters can cause household havoc. Almost nothing can start a husband and wife disagreement faster than a discussion about money matters; especially when one family member does not work, or makes less than his or her mate. Stay-at-home moms or dad may feel like an unequal partner when it comes to family money. So how do you handle it? The first rule would have to be do not allow yourself to feel insecure. Take some to action to make yourself feel secure and comfortable in your relationship.
Are married to someone who insists on handling all the finances, he or she may unintentionally behave badly, i.e., I make more money, therefore, I'm entitled to spend more or criticize your spending?
Do you feel guilty about spending money because you fear you will hear about it later. For instance, you are questioned about your purchase, "Why did you buy those shoes or that sweater, didn't I just have to pay $150 in dental bills, for you (or the children) just this month?" This makes you very much aware that you are not bringing in any money to the household. It's hard to feel empowered when someone continually undermines you. However, you should remember that what you do at home is priceless.
If you have recently lost your job, retired or you are a stay-at-home parent, you must recognize that your contributions to your family are significant:
- If you are asked for advice concerning a financial matter, don't say, "I don't know honey, why don't you decide." Obviously your mate wanted this to be a shared decision.
- If your mate is the one who does the bills, ask how the budget looks for the month to get a dialogue going.
- Try not to feel like you are rocking the boat when you ask questions about household finances.
- When you are complimented about the house or dinner. Don't start any sentence with "Oh, it's just..." Instead say thank you. If it was a difficult or time-consuming task, say so. Not as a complaint, as a fact.
- Take a deep breathe and count to 10 before you get into a discussion about money, do not allow the discussion to become a heated battle of words and ego.
- And remember, little pitchers have big ears so don't be surprised if you hear your words and opinions coming out of those little mouths.
Deep credit card debt is definately a hot button, I recommend listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast. Ramsey is one of those people you love or hate, I happen like his exuberance, you can find him at Dave Ramsey Radio or take a look at his book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Also don't forget to visit the BellaOnline Money Channel