The divorce rate in our country is currently above 50 percent. That’s a staggering number.
There are a number of factors contributing to this dilemma, but a number of marriage counselors and divorce attorneys will attribute this trend to money, sex and communication as the top three reasons. I personally believe communication is the underlying factor linked to all of the reasons, but I won’t address that point in this post.
Let’s focus on the issue of money in relationships. Unfortunately, too many people wait until after they get married before building a working knowledge of finances. Actually, one of the best times to gain an understanding about money and build positive habits is during your time of singleness. There are some great lessons to learn when you’re single and those lessons can serve as a great foundation for having the money conversation prior to marriage. Notice I said “prior to” marriage. The best time to discuss finances with your significant other is before tying the knot. Some of the financial issues couples experience can be avoided if a couple communicates openly and honestly in advance.
If you’re single, here are 3 financial habits your future spouse will appreciate you putting into practice:
1. Adhering to a Budget – Do you know how much money you bring into your household each month? Do you know how much money you spend each month? If the answer to either or both of these questions is no, then you could benefit from learning about budgeting. A budget allows you to know how much of a financial surplus or deficit you have each month, which allows you to plan and make better financial decisions.
2. Understanding the Art of Saving – It is great to earn a significant income. It is even better when you allow your significant income to position you for a better life. Saving money places you in a position where you have life flexibility. Do you like to travel? What happens if you lose your job tomorrow? Do you have enough money saved to endure a temporary lapse in employment? Saving money today prepares you for planned events like vacations along with unexpected events like job loss. A number of marriages have ended because of job loss and the financial stress it placed on the relationship.
3. Planning Beyond Today – Planning beyond today means thinking about leaving a legacy for your immediate and future family. Do you have a will? If not, consider preparing one so everything is spelled out in the event of your death. Do you have life insurance? Death can place a significant burden on families when people haven’t planned beyond today. Life insurance allows you to leave your family in a favorable financial position in the event of your death. They may not have to worry about paying a mortgage, loans, etc., depending on the terms of your policy. Your future spouse will appreciate you thinking about leaving a legacy for you future family.
Work on the 3 financial habits listed above, so you can establish a solid financial foundation for yourself prior to meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right. Your future spouse will appreciate your preparation.
Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Speaker, HLN Contributor, Host of the Chat Kafe Radio Show (http://www.chatkafeonline.com), singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at http://www.kennypugh.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.