Last week, we shared seven conditions that should be in place for money to work well in your marriage.
1. The right mindset
2. It’s a we thing
3. Let your money submit to your marriage
5. Playing to your strengths
6. Have a money plan
7. Respect irrespective of financial standing
This week, we talk about the seasons that a marriage can go through and how you can position your marriage to win through each season.
Every marriage can have one of the following scenarios:
1. One income
2. Two incomes from paid employment
3. Two incomes from paid employment and a business venture
4. No employment
Yes Income Scenario
It is easiest to plan when you have a fixed monthly income however, if your income is from a business venture, you can plan using an average income that is conservative and reflective of your earning even in a worst-case scenario. In this case, you can treat any excess income as a windfall that can be channelled to fund other family projects.
If income comes from one person either through paid employment or business. The other person who decides to look after the home is as valuable as the working spouse. If you both sit down to consider the benefit of this arrangement to the family, you will be amazed at the gains. The person at home can seek out ways to save for the family by taking advantage of shopping deals (discounts on bulk purchases or shopping during sale seasons), taking the kids on extra lessons if that is your strength area instead of paying someone to handle it. The person at home may not bring in raw cash but through prudent cost management, they bring significant value to the family and help free up cash for other expenses. This level of commitment can only be achieved if the two work together and respect the value that each one brings in each phase of their lives.
No Income Scenario
Bad days may arise and you both find yourselves unemployed, it is wise to save during rainy days for a time like this. Experts will always advise that every family has an emergency fund with 3-6 months of savings to help the family tide through the storm. Do not save after spending, it never works, instead, prioritise savings and spend what is left. If you both succeed in making savings a habit, you will be grateful you did when life throws some hard money rocks on you.
DIY skills, tricks and tips
We are not financial gurus, but we have read and practised enough financial lessons to share with you a bit on navigating money waters.
Every marriage should have enough skills within the marriage to survive all income scenarios especially a no income worst-case scenario. If you gain some of these skills while the going is good, there will come in handy when the going gets tough. Developing a Do It Yourself (DIY) mentality can help you free up cash for more important responsibilities. Remember that only the tough get going in tough times. A few tips that will keep you resourceful and help you weather bad days:
1. Grow a garden for your own vegetables – our mothers practised this a lot
2. Bake your own bread, you can get 3 fresh home-baked loaves with the price of one from the store
3. Learn how to make your own clothes or at least acquire basic sewing skills to enable you re-purpose or stitch loose clothing
4. Build a structure that allows you to pace and complete your daily task without leaving you feeling overwhelmed – learn to do your own laundry, wash your own car, clean your house, and cook your own meals
5. Invest in household appliances that make your life easy – you can get together a few trusted friends and start a saving club where each person gets a bulk amount on a rotational basis. This allows you to save in bite sizes and prevents borrowing if you are unable to raise the bulk amount
6. Bargain to your advantage and plan to shop when there are good deals, buying in bulk gives you a lot of savings, you can even tag a few friends to increase your purchasing power
7. Prioritise spending on needs first and avoid impulse buying, ‘I like the saying that good things never finish in the market’
8. Do not borrow except it is a life and death situation – a mortgage should ideally be the only debt in your personal portfolio.
9. Find something that you are so good at, that people will be willing to pay you for – it may just be a lifesaver – my personal lifeline will be cooking, I love to cook and I know that if I ever need to make money out of it, I can rely on it for sure
10. Make your own coffee, salad, fresh fruit juice or lunch and save on eating out, opting to eat out only occasionally
Money can make or break a marriage, strange but true. Money proof your marriage so that it’s success is not dependent on the presence or lack of it.
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