Keep Your Marriage Strong During Economic Downturns
When the economy takes a turn, the added stress can make the divorce rate increase. It is important to take steps to protect your marriage when financial problems arise. By remembering the “for richer or poorer” part of the vows, it can help you stick together through these rough economic times.
Create a Budget
Sadly, most couples don’t have a formal budget. Many people have no idea how much money they have coming in each month and they aren’t sure what their monthly bills total. If you don’t have a formal budget, create one. It is important to be aware of how much income you have.
If you have created a budget in the past, it may make sense to re-evaluate or update it. Budgets should be examined closely every few months. It is important to recognize the fluctuating gas and grocery prices in your budget.
Take some time each month to make sure you are budgeting accurately for each expense. For example, if you overspend on your gas budget each month, it’s clear you set the budget too low. Many people underestimate how much they really spend on items such as groceries, dining out, and gas.
If you have a surplus each month, create a plan for what to do with that money. For example, how much do you want to put into savings? Should you make any changes to your retirement contributions? Do you want to put any extra money toward the mortgage?
Unfortunately, when many couples sit down to create their budget, they realize they are spending more than they make. This can be a tough reality to face. However, it is important to face this fact if you are in this situation. Then you can make cuts and scale back in order to prevent yourself from going deeper into debt.
Make Cuts Where You Can
A lot of people experience decreased income during economic downturns. However, not enough people make changes to their lifestyle to reflect their decreased income. The more people make, the more they tend to spend. Yet, when they get accustomed to living a certain lifestyle, it can be hard to scale back.Continued on the next page