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5 Tips for Staying Happily Married During a Financial Rough Patch

5 Tips for Staying Happily Married During a Financial Rough Patch

When I read this post by our very own, Annett Davis, I was so grateful for her transparency.  If a US Olympian can go through tough financial times and keep her marriage in tip top shape through it all, there’s no doubt we all can.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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It’s no surprise that one of the top reasons couples divorce today continues to be financial challenges.  As a wife of 17 years, who has been in many tough financial situations, this is an area that’s near and dear to my heart.
Our financial struggles began when we first married. My husband and I were both trying to qualify for the Olympics in our respective sports.  Byron in swimming, and me in beach volleyball. When you compete you cannot have full time jobs so money was extremely tight. To be honest it was only by the grace of God that we made it through.
Later on blessings began to flow greatly and I began winning many events, and my husband landed a great job. A few years later, the US pro beach volleyball tour began to have it’s own financial troubles which funneled down to the players which meant less money.  Again, we began to struggle. 
To make matters worse we invested in two homes hoping to flip them right before the housing market crashed. We had a bad contractor to boot, which turned into a foreclosure and short sale. Having to live on 1/4 of what we were used to was difficult to say the least.
The good news is that through it all our marriage remained solid as a rock.  And though it would have been easier not o have had the financial issues to begin with, our marriage is stronger than ever.  I love to share my experiences with others, but more so what I have learned.  Below are my 5 top tips to staying happily married during a financial rough patch.

How to Stay Happily Married During A Financial Rough Patch

1. Be Open and Honest About the Situation. When going through a financially tough time, take ownership for your part of the situation. No one is perfect. Do not finger point, that never helps the situation.  Never hold back information from your spouse. It’s always best to be completely transparent so that you can see the entire picture together. Hiding the severity of the matter will only make things worse.
2. Every Problem is Figureoutable. Yes, I just made up that word, but it’s so true! There is nothing new under the sun. The problem that you are going through, someone has experienced it before you and probably even worse. Take heart and know that going through a financial rough patch isn’t the end of the world.  You aren’t less intelligent, less loveable, or less of a person because you are going through tough times.  If you don’t remember anything else, remember that there is always a solution.  It may be tough and uncomfortable to figure it out and to walk through it, but it exists. You can do this, together!
3.  Stay on the Same Page. There is no “lesser” partner, even if your spouse made the financial mistake. Work through it as a team. If you need expert help get it.  Be clear about why the changes are being made.  For instance, if your man is a big spender and uses the credit card too much, make sure he understands that the new family rules on spending are so that you two can reach your goals.  Be a big girl, when rules are established because of your habits and know that change is usually for the best, especially when you are both giving up things for the greater good.
4.  Frugal is Fabulous.  Attitude and prospective is everything when you are going through a crisis. It can always be worse. Think about the good, and work on a list of things you are grateful for. Add to it daily. Learn to live the affluent lifestyle that you desire at an affordable price. Pinterest and blogs have thousands of great ideas for getting the look of something expensive for pennies on the dollar. Just because you are broke doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night with you man. Lift your head, and start dreaming, get creative and make frugal fun!
5.  Remember What’s Important.  No matter what I go through, the one thing I always remind myself is that my husband and I are in this together. Don’t ever forget that you are in a covenant relationship together, your vows testify to that fact. Letting material things get in the way of your commitment should never be allowed.  Your financial woes give you a great opportunity to strengthen the resolve of your relationship.  It allows you opportunities to stretch and grow as individuals, and to cement yourselves together in an amazingly powerful bond.

YOUR TURN: How have you stayed happily married during a financial rough patch?


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5 Quick and Easy Financial Tips for Couples in Debt

5 Quick & Easy Financial Tips For Couples Getting Out of Debt

5 Quick and Easy Financial Tips for Couples in Debt

When I wrote the post on my #1 financial tip for couples on a budget on Monday, I didn’t expect such a large reception.  

More than 10,000 new visitors stopped by that day to give it a read, and a countless number of visitors couldn’t access it because the large spike in traffic at certain times caused our server to crash ten times.  Yes, 10x. 

It was then I realized how many couples reading HappyWivesClub.com are in need of help in this area.  

Several years ago, my husband and I made some drastic changes to pull ourselves out of debt – as quickly and easily as possible.  We now know firsthand the freedom that comes as a result of removing that huge pile of bricks (aka debt) off our shoulders.

There are so lessons we learned throughout that journey and these are our top five:

1. Team up.  Getting on the same page could quite possibly be the single most important tip to getting your finances on track as quickly as possible.  Strong couples look at debt as a financial challenger (rather than a challenge) and join forces to defeat it.

2. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I’m not an affiliate for this program, I’ve never met the author, and gain nothing by endorsing it.  The reason I suggest it is it works!  

This is the program Keith and I used and it is what helped us get on the same page with our finances immediately.

We followed the author’s step-by-step instructions and pulled out of debt much faster than we ever thought possible.  This morning, I found the book on sale for $1.99 (99% off) at Barnes & Noble online.

3. Divide your spending into categories for greater oversight.  There are a number of ways to do this.  In our household, my husband and I use a monthly allowance system and each takes responsibility for capping certain expenses.  You can read here for our exact system.

4. Give.  It’s a fascinating thing.  When people get in a financial rut, one of the first things they often stop doing is giving.  That is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.  No matter your religion or faith, giving is a principle that simply works.  From books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad to the Millionaire Next Door, business and financial experts all include this as a pivotal ingredient in their recipe for financial success.

5. Make gratitude a part of your daily life.  If you’re reading this on a computer or a smart phone, there’s a great likelihood you’re within the top 10% of wealthiest people in the world.  Keeping this perspective will help you appreciate what you have and that appreciation opens up the gateways of your mind.

It’s not always about getting another job, or working harder, sometimes the answer rests in allowing our minds to be as free as possible to come up with the solutions we need.  And scientists have proven, time and time again, that gratitude and focusing on the positive is one of the fastest ways to achieve success.  

If you have 12 minutes to spare (or if not, consider fast forwarding to the 9-minute mark), here’s a video I’ve personally sent to my closest friends and family that explains why this adjustment could very well be the missing variable in your financial health equation.

QUESTION: What other financial tips for couples would you add to this list?

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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