By John Ingrisano
Director, Family Finance Conference Center
The surest way to screw up a marriage is to get deep in debt, spend more than you earn, and worry about how you will pay the bills each month. The “Quarrel Factor” goes up and up and up. If this sounds like you, why not look at some ways to bring it back down again?
I’ve seen it time and time again: A couple spends like drunken sailors, ignoring the simple concept of balancing income vs. outgo. They take advantage of “easy” credit to pile up debt and live the great life, deferring payments and gradually becoming unable to make even those minimum payments each month.
Then it gets really bad: An otherwise reasonably happy couple begins to snipe and quarrel. Part of the reason is that the relationship depended on spending money – buying unnecessary stuff, going on vacations they cannot afford, dining out three or four times a week. Now that they cannot afford to add one more dollar of borrowed money to their lifestyle, they are stuck … together … at home … with no money.
They get frustrated, begin hoarding money, sometimes lying to each other. They lose sleep over bills. Often, the one who begins to realize first that they are in financial trouble tries to watch the pennies, and then begins to resent the one who still seems oblivious. At the same time, the spender begins to resent the goody-two-shoes who is trying to fix the mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Again, they are stuck at home, together and irritable, with no money. That’s a formula for disaster.
They begin to fight, often about everything but the money issue. She’s a nag. He’s immature. Why do the kids open a can of soda and let it sit? You never want to go out for a movie anymore. And on it goes.
Ultimately — and way too often — the end is divorce.
If this sounds like you, are you ready to make a change? I talk to couples all the time who are in financial stress. It always delights and amazes me how straightening out their finances reduces the “Quarrel Factor” by 50 percent in some, 75 percent in others, yes, even 100 percent in still others. Most of all, it is fairly easy to do. Though it may take several years to totally correct their financial mess, they can begin to take charge of their financial disaster within days.
Instantly, as I have seen time and time again, the relationship rebounds. One reason is that they feel back in control of their situation; another is that they are again working together as friends and partners toward a common goal.
Where do you start? For countless couples, the first step is the decision to fix the mess they are in. Then, it is a matter of getting on a program, a system, that helps them stop spending, whittle down debt, and gradually build assets. It doesn’t matter if your income is five figures or six figures or higher; nor does it matter is your debt load is several thousand dollars or several hundred thousand dollars. It’s time to start. It is doable.
That’s why I wrote the book and workbook, The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace. They contain ten proven, step-by-step “Couples Money Skills.” Plus, the workbook (which closely dovetails with the text) offers 31 practical, hands-on Wealth Builder activities that can help you and your spouse build financial and domestic stability.
Both the book and workbook, which retail for $31.98 plus S & H, are available at the Family Finances Conference Center website for $27.99 total. Or send a check to John Ingrisano, Family Finances Conference Center, 209 Church Street, Algoma, WI 54201.
This book set comes with a money back guarantee. Not happy with the results? Return them for a full refund.
Also, if you are looking for a good Christmas gift for a family member, consider a copy of this two-book set. It may be the best gift you can give your adult son or daughter.
Become a team again. Bring peace back into your home. Most of all, become the loving, caring couple you used to be and reduce the “Quarrel Factor” in your life to zero.
The Family Finances Conference Center also does seminars and money management workshops, tailoring programs to the unique and individual needs of businesses and nonprofit organizations, their members and employees, based on the principles of the book and workbook set, The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace.
209 Church Street
Algoma, WI 54201
John Ingrisano is a business journalist, public speaker, author of The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace, and director of the Family Finances Conference Center. He can be contacted at (920) 559-3722.