It is estimated that 80% of all divorces are caused by a lack of communication. Would you like to guess what they don't communicate about? Money! Money is a sensitive subject for many people because of it's necessity in our lives. It is true, money makes the world go 'round!
Why is this a problem? Easy. If you have enough money - you're happy! If you have just enough money to make it from week to week - you're stressed. If you have more month than money - you panic! What to do?? Well here are a few things that you can do that will help.
1 - Sit down and talk about what needs to be done without blaming yourself or the other person for what has happened. Take responsibility together. WE did communicate therefore WE make a mistake. So what are WE going to do about it?
2 - Start using a zero balance budget immediately. This means you assign every dollar you are going to receive to it's rightful place. This will take about 3 or 4 months to get right. So don't loose it if you make a mistake or it if doesn't work. This isn't easy.
3 - If your budget allows and if necessary set spending limits on each other. Early on in our marriage Betty and I agreed that anything over $20 had to have both of our approvals. Now that limit is higher today - but still it prevents either one of us from doing something selfish.
4 - Read the book Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. Also take the class Financial Peace University. You can go to daveramsey.com and find a class near you. Yes it will help!!!
5 - Are you going to lose your house or go bankrupt. Do your best to stop it, but if you can't, don't blame yourself or your spouse. Forgive yourself and each other - move on with life and learn from your mistakes. You will recover and life will return to normal, I promise.
6 - Get rid of the credit cards. I think those things are printed in hell and Satan himself sets the interest rate. Quit throwing your money away. If you feel the need to do that, please send some of it to me instead of MasterCard. If you can't pay for it, you can't have it. It's called self discipline.
7 - If the economy is in bad shape then I suggest that you get a job, any job and stick with it. Don't quit that job until you can get a better job. Then if you can find something in your career great! But until then do whatever you have to do to take care of you and your family.
8 - Be creative. Don't assume that how you spent money in the past is how you have to in the future. Find opportunities like Angel Food to help your food bill. Try a staycation instead of a vacation to an expensive place. Use online service providers like hotwire to book reservations. Learn how the travel industry works so you can get the best deals. Whatever you do, don't find yourself under a 20 watt lightbulb, in a hot house, telling your family to literally tighten their belts and be happy with their boiled hot dog. This will lead to a revolt soon.
9 - Sell everything you don't need. As Dave Ramsey says, "Sell so much stuff you make the kids think they're next." What are you hanging on to it for? If you don't need it, convert it into cash.
10- Last but not least. Don't give up. Foreclosure or bankruptcy isn't giving up. Downsizing isn't giving up. When you stop talking and start looking for a divorce attorney, that's when you have given up. Don't let money steal your life and marriage away from you. Make it mind and do what you tell it to do.