I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
What's One Of the Biggest Causes More Problems In Marriages?
Working too Much or Not Enough?
Did you know that over 50% of divorces are not at all related to sexual unfaithfulness but rather financial unfaithfulness?
In today's debt-ridden society, financial unfaithfulness causes more problems in marriages as a result of financial secrets that have been found out. Unfortunately, ladies, it's mostly our faults on the financial problems in marriages (trust me, I don't want to admit that, but it's true). It's just written in our beautiful little DNA that we have to have the prettiest, most expensive things in order to be adored, accepted, etc in society.
Young married couples and debt are common however, they also form a lot of disastrous problems in marriages.
Often with a young married couple, one of the partners will hide certain financial things to prevent confrontations and getting help. As soon as the financial problems begin, they usually do not stop until it hits the point of all the credit cards are maxed to the limits and that in itself causes more problems in marriages.
Here we have Peter (credit card), Paul (mortgage loan) and Saul (payday advance)
A lot of people use Peter to pay Paul and when they can't use Peter anymore, they have to run to Saul and say “Hey Bro, can I get an advance? You know I'm good for it.” and use that advance to pay off Peter so they can go back to paying Paul.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS!
At this point, financial debts become too big to hide and either the partner will reluctantly bring it up or the other partner will discover it on their own, which will bring with it feelings of great frustration, bitterness and often is the beginning of more problems in marriages, especially if professional help is not sought out immediately.
Men seem to be less apt to handle the financial unfaithfulness then women and when it is discovered that their spouse has been financially unfaithful and that's when the battles begin.
So, How Can You Avoid This One Thing That Causes More Problems in Marriages?
- DO make a budget listing all your fixed expenses. Rent or mortgage, car insurance, car payments, cell phones, utilities, daycare, fixed loans, etc. Then try to estimate a reasonable budget for discretionary items like food, drinks, dry cleaning, etc.
- DO check and keep track of your credit score. Keeping track of your credit score can help you with handling your credit card debt. It also gives you a goal of increasing your credit score while paying down credit. The higher your credit score, the better you are. I strongly suggest Credit Sesame, that's who my husband and I use and we've been working on our credit for three years.
- DO make a second list of all your outstanding balances. Sort by balance, minimum payment, and interest charges if you have multiple credit card debts.
- DO start paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate. However, there are 2 preferred methods to follow.
- First strategy & my favorite method is called the Snowball Method and Envelope System using Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: You should first reduce the number of credit cards. Pay off the smallest balance first with larger payments until the number of credit cards you have in debt is down to one. Your ultimate goal is zero, or when you can pay your monthly balance in full every month.
- The other strategy is to pay the balance on any card exceeding 50 percent of your credit limit because balances above this level may cause your credit score to diminish.
- DO look for extra income. Most likely your rent or mortgage is your biggest expense, so consider a roommate. If you like your occasional privacy, consider an International student for shorter periods of time.
- DO look for the little things that add up in your expenses. Maybe change your cell phone plan if you are constantly going over the monthly minutes? How about that $2.75 Starbucks latte or cappuccino every workday? That's almost $7,000 a year!
- DON’T sign up with a new credit card with a 0% APR for the first 6 months. You probably receive a lot of junk mail enticing you to sign up with a new credit card with a 0% APR for the first 6 months before it jumps to 24% or even higher. Then 6 months later you would transfer your huge balance to another piece of plastic. Unfortunately, the biggest risk is they are simply giving you more credit to spend, and the number of cards and liability increases. Unless you are extremely disciplined, this doesn't really work as you end up bigger and deeper in the hole! Reducing the number of credit cards is the goal.
- DON’T get a consolidated bank loan to pay off all your debt. Logically, a 12% bank loan APR is less than 24% APR on a credit card. It sounds like good advice because you can’t spend what you don’t have. You will be asked to have all your cards cut up (except maybe one with a small credit limit) and you have reduced the number of credit cards.
- DO use cash or a debit card from your checking account. You can't spend what you don't have. I talked above about Dave Ramsey's Envelope System. This is THE PERFECT way of moving away from using your credit cards.
If a young couple is set on only having one person in control of the budget, that is fine however it is wise to site together once every week and review the income and expenses and allow for open questions and answers. This will provide that additional step of accountability that is often more than enough to keep the temptation of financial unfaithfulness at bay.
Marital problems that are caused from a lack of financial maturity do cause many best friends to become bitter enemies and in any marriage, it can certainly be the brutal destruction of the foundation for which it stands. If you are hiding financial problems from your spouse, come clean with them immediately and seek out financial guidance. If you are not sharing the budget responsibly currently, then start so that you won't be another statistic that causes more problems in marriages.