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Combining Finances as a Couple

couples and their financesSometimes there seems to be a lot of hype surrounding couples and their finances.  Everyone is looking for a magic formula that will somehow allow them to comfortably fill their bank account, while effortlessly bringing peace and harmony to their relationship.  In reality, there is no one magic formula that works for all couples.  What works for one particular couple might create issues if another couple tried the same method.

Managing money is simply one more task that most individuals have to address throughout their lifetime.  Just as with household chores, childcare activities and work responsibilities, couples must carve out a plan that works for their unique needs.  Above all, couples must understand the peace and harmony of their relationship is their number one priority.  Once they understand their relationship’s integrity is what is truly important, they can negotiate and delegate the various responsibilities of life between the two of them, including money management.

Some couples might find it works best to put one of them in charge of the finances who makes sure all the bills are paid and the other partner receives what amounts to an allowance for inconsequentials.  Other couples find it works best to keep separate accounts.  They divvy up the monthly obligations and each partner ensures they pay their portion of bills every month.

For long-term financial goals, an annual or semi-annual discussion with each other, much as they would with a financial planner, is a good way to touch base with each other.  Sharing ideas and thoughts and ensuring both parties are comfortable with the trajectory of their long-term plan will go a long way to keeping couples feeling good about their financial future.

As with any partnership, there might be times when the two parties simply do not agree with each other.  This is where compromise and negotiating comes into play.  For example, if your spouse wants to save 20% of your combined take-home pay and you want to save 5%, compromise at 10% or 12%.  Each partner might not get everything they wanted, but both parties did receive at least a portion of their desires and that is probably enough to maintain harmony within their relationship.

3 Reasons Our Emotions Are Impacted by Financial Woes

families stressedIf there is one thing most all Americans can relate to it’s stress. It seems we are stressed as individuals and consequently as families. Try as we may as parents to hide our emotional stress, our children pick up on our feelings more times than not and often internalize it. They, too, are stressed when we are. So, why are so many people overwhelmed with stress. A CBS report said the number reason causing people to feel stressed out is financial problems. Actually, financial woes impact 64 % of adults. Additionally, Family Education names financial worries as one of the top ten reasons children are stressed. A financial crisis, whether severe or mild, brings about stress because of the emotional upheaval it brings about. Here’s how:

Uncertainty about the future

Financial problems lead to uncertainty about what will happen in the future. Some families may not know what to expect week to week, and making long-term plans is even more difficult. When facing this type of financial uncertainty, some families or individuals stagnate with fear. The stress, however, continues to build up internally causing physical problems.

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limboLimboland- we’ve all heard the phrase “I’m in limbo”. But what exactly does it mean? Limbo is frequently used to describe a temporary state- a lack of movement either forwards or backwards. In life, and in relationships, one thing is certain- being in limbo is darn uncomfortable.

We can feel like we are in limbo for many reasons- life transitions, family issues, the instability of a relationship. As humans we prosper with a certain degree of routine and structure, so being in limbo is an unnatural state of being. We need direction, goals and action to feel that our lives have meaning, but what can we do if the decision of “what happens next” resides with someone or something else? Our internal guidance system wants to resist the lack of movement by trying to force ourselves out of the state, usually by making impulsive decisions or thoughtless actions. Of course, this usually ends up making things worse.

One of the worst things about being in limbo is fear. Fear of the future, fear of the unknown and fear of outcomes can immobilize our thoughts and actions. This can cause depression, stress and anxiety. Fear is that constant voice in our heads that keeps us from taking risks- risks that might enrich our life or hold us back from doing some things we need to do. Want to experience something new and exciting? Or accomplish something really great? Fear says, “No, you can’t.”

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