We have a few friends/family that are currently going through separations or divorces. It’s always sad to see people break up, and move on. And in every single instance (from what we can see) poor money decisions have always been a factor. This is not to say there weren’t other problems, or lack of other problems, but the money factor is always clear as day in the couple’s troubles and issues.
Keeping a relationship going, strong, happy and successful is no easy feat. I have very little experience in this (as I’ve only been married once, and married for just 5 years), but the fact that every couple we know (at least 5+ serious relationships since we’ve been together) has broken up, and every single one, has dealt with one or both people in the relationship abusing money. One or both either overspend it, don’t respect it, don’t know where it goes, and both people or one are completely oblivious to their poor money behaviors. The hard earned money does not stay home. It goes out the door faster than it came in.
My husband and I are very busy right now. Probably too busy, but this is life. We are raising three children. We are managing three properties. We are working full time. We are truly doing it all, and trying our best along our way. We would love to slow down, have more downtime, have more our own time, but the kids are little at this point, and we are building our empire of real estate and investing, and thus – it’s a busy time in our lives. Yet, what keeps our marriage strong, happy, and full of love, is the fact that money stressors don’t enter it. We are both low spenders, rarely spend money on ourselves, and instead put 100% of money earned into our necessary bills or our saving & investment accounts. My husband doesn’t have to wonder if I spent the day at the mall by spending our paychecks, and I don’t have to wonder if he’s spending our cash on whatever hobbies he may have. It doesn’t happen. We are, thankfully, on the same page with our spending, with our needs, with our desires to keep our family strong, and stronger, with wise money decisions.
We are still young (I’m 33, and my husband is 37), and we still have a lot of learning, growing, and life to experience. It’s not all perfect, nor will all days flow like honey going forward. But the fact that we don’t argue over money, the fact that surprise bills don’t arrive, the fact that cash does not disappear, the fact that frivolously and unnecessary things aren’t purchased daily and at random, all make each day better, make our future brighter, and our life today – good.
If I had to give just one advice to all new couples, new relationships – and hey – even old couples, it would be to STOP SPENDING. Stop the outflow, stop the leaks, stop buying, stop purchasing, stop needing it all, stop it immediate. It’s the number one reason why lack of happiness will hit you and your partner quickly and harder than any other issue. It’s not fun to not have enough, it’s not fun to have credit card debt, it’s not fun to have to NEED money, when you don’t have it. If you want the best possible relationship, build a strong solid financial foundation. This will be the best guarantee for the relationship you want, in both good times, and hard times.