[The following is taken from The Back to Basics Book of Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace, by John Ingrisano. For more information, click on the title above.]
I have always found money interesting and challenging. I have written about and taught
money management skills for 35 years. Three major things I have learned about people
and money during those three decades:
# 1: Most People Struggle with Money
Many people struggle when it comes to using money as an effective tool to achieve their goals. This is mostly because they have not given much thought to money, except to spend it and then worry about it on a daily basis.
In fact, to be painfully blunt, there are those among us who are flat-out ignorant when it comes to money. I have met people over the years who see no connection between the income they earn and the lifestyle they live. That is not meant to be a blame or judgment
statement, just a fact. They do not have a clue how to use money, manage money, do much more than work like dogs 40 or more hours a week to earn money, and then turn around and spend it like drunken sailors on shore leave. They earn it and spend it and borrow it. The bank and the credit card companies — everyone else but them – are in control of their financial lives.
# 2: Money Problems Can Destroy Relationships
Second, while money cannot make people happy, the lack – or mismanagement – of money can make them miserable. Because of their financial situation, many couples find that their lives are out of balance, if not completely out of control, not just financially but in every respect.
Keep in mind that there is a close correlation between money problems and domestic problems. Look at most divorces. When we get beyond “He’s a jerk” and “She’s impossible to please,” the real reason www.order-westernunion.com behind most divorces and marital problems is MONEY.
On one hand, money is the most common reason for arguments, what couples fight about the most, and the number one reason divorcing couples say is the cause. On the other hand, money can be an amazing source of marital harmony and unity. When finances are in balance, when couples are in agreement and pulling together in unison, this common cause serves to strengthen the bonds of the relationship.
At the very least, it provides a stable platform upon which to build harmony and settle other differences. Perhaps that’s because being financially in control and secure makes people happier and more confident. Take away ongoing money concerns and most folks would walk through their days with heads held higher. They’d sleep a lot better, too.
I’m not a psychologist, but I do know that when I’m not worried about money, I enjoy every other aspect of life more fully, and I’m much more pleasant to be around. I suspect you are the same. If you doubt it, ask yourself how worrying about paying an overdue bill, using a credit card when you know you are already having trouble making payments, or finding that you have a 31-day month but only a 28-day paycheck — how all these distract you and reduce your ability to enjoy your life.
Money makes a difference in our attitudes and our confidence. It is a powerful tool.
# 3: Financial Health & Stability Can Start TODAY!
Finally, I learned that no matter how bad a person’s financial situation may be, it is NEVER hopeless. It can be turned around and fixed. Depending on how deep the hole, it may take some time to crawl out of it, but every day can show some improvement in standard of living.
No, the cure is not always easy and can rarely be completed in a flash, but if you are determined to improve the quality of your life and your relationship, you can start today, and you will be amazed at the positive changes that will begin almost immediately to flow into your life. Most of all, every day that your finances can be improved by a fraction, an inch, and then a foot (or perhaps better stated as a penny, a nickel, and then a dime), brings you that much closer to financial security, strength and peace.
What is the alternative? Ignoring financial problems is like speeding a hundred miles an hour down a highway with a brick wall around a bend. You may not know which bend, but that wall is there, and the crash will be a messy one. Guaranteed. So, the time is now to slow it down, turn it around and head in the opposite direction.
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Want to learn more about how to bring your finances under control? Check out The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace. The book contains 10 valuable Couple Money Skills. Plus, the Back to Basics Book of Money Workbook (which dovetails with the main text) offers 31 practical, hands-on Wealth Builder activities that can help you and your partner 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.