3 Keys to Ensuring Financial Success as a Couple

BY: - 17 Sep '13 | Marriage

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My household was not exempt from experiencing the heartache the Great Recession brought millions of American families. When my husband was laid off from his job in 2009, we had no idea what was in store for us over what has turned into a four year journey.

As we have embraced our life as a one-income family, I have found that teamwork, communication, and honesty are the three themes that best helped us avoid some of the pitfalls many couples encounter when it comes to money management.

Here are some real life examples, based upon my experience on how to talk to your spouse about money and thrive financially as a couple.

1. Teamwork – “My-Money, Your-Money” Mentality Has to Go

Teamwork. You have to adopt a team mentality in all facets of marriage, and even more so in your finances. No team can win a game if only one player is doing all of the work. After the layoff, I never adopted a “my-money, your-money” mentality because I was the only one working. My husband is my life partner, and his role in my life exceeds the limits of a paycheck.

We operate in a spirit of togetherness by sitting down and going over our finances together each month. It only takes a few minutes for us to discuss what bills have been paid, what others are due soon, and what other expenses might be coming up. It keeps up both accountable and in the loop about what’s happening with our money.

2. Communication – Talk about Everything

Communication. You have to be able to talk to your spouse about everything surrounding your finances. Is there a big purchase you need to make, like a new appliance or home repair? Talk about it together before a decision is made.

For example, I take a trip to Dallas every year to visit my sister. Before I would even think of purchasing my ticket (even though I travel at the same time annually), I talk to my husband about what the numbers are looking like, so I make sure the trip is within our reach. If it isn’t, we take steps to plan for it – even if it takes a little longer, so that when I travel, I can do so in confidence that our finances aren’t greatly affected.

3. Honesty – Truly is the Best Policy

Honesty.  No good can come from lying to your spouse about money or hiding things from them. Honesty truly is the best policy. I earn extra cash each month as a freelance writer and most of my payments go to PayPal. It could be very easy for me to keep that account a secret from him, but that simply is not something I desire to do. Building trust in your marriage encourages a sense of security. When we feel secure, intimacy increases. So why would I let a few dollars potentially keep me from feeling closer to my husband?

By putting the themes of teamwork, communication, and honesty into the financial aspect of your marriage, you are taking great steps to ensure your success as a couple. Do what you can today to work together to control your money and not let it control you!

Tell us, BMWK family, how do you and your spouse handle money?

About the author

Amber Wright wrote 39 articles on this blog.

Amber is a Communication Coach and Consultant that wants to help you learn how to say it right – from the boardroom to the bedroom! Visit her website, www.talktoamber.com, to find fun and insightful information on how to improve your communication skills and overall quality of life.

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Blended Families Week: 8 StepFamily Resources that We Love

BY: - 17 Sep '13 | Blended Families

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Stepfamily Resources

This week is Blended Families week on the site.  Although we talk about blend families (or step-families) all year long, this is the week that we set aside to really focus on discussing blended families and providing tools and resources that will strengthen those families.  According to the Pew Research Center, over 40% of adults are now in some type of step-relationship ( step-parent, step-child, or step or half sibling.)  And that was a 2011 report….so you know that number has grown since then!

With so many people living in step families, you would think that more people would be talking about them.  But we are finding that people living in the step-families are not talking about their challenges, and churches and organizations are not providing enough programs to support their families.  And unfortunately, the divorce statistics for remarried couples (especially those with children) reflect this reality.

But we know that step-families are a blessing.  And we also know that any family that is built on a foundation of love and respect can work!  It may take time for your step-family to blend…but it will be well worth it in the end.

Here are 8 resources to help you in your quest to strengthen your step-family:

The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family

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The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family -  Ron Deal, Director of FamilyLife Blended, explodes the myth of the "blended" family as he provides practical, realistic solutions to the issues that stepfamilies face. He helps remarried and soon-to-be married couples:
*Recognize the unique personality and place of each family member 
*Solve the everyday puzzles of step parenting and stepchildren relationships 
*Learn communication skills to deal with ex-spouses 
*Honor families of origin while developing new traditions 
*Invest the time to grow their stepfamily slowly rather than look for instant results
This one is my favorite!

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 523 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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