HOW MONEY INFLUENCES OUR FAMILY LIFE
By Vijoy Alexander
Money is an inevitable evil. Without that nobody can live; if you have less or more it can make havoc in your life.
The family is the foundation of human life. Forget about Adam and Eve, or the early families in the Bible like Abraham and Sarah. Let us come to the current scenario. When we were young our parents brought us up. We ate together, slept in the same house, shared with our siblings. A gala life. Never knew any pinch or the importance of money. As we grew we came to know the importance of money which plays in our everyday life. When money dominates naturally conflicts starts. Anything important can potentially start conflicts. When parents have more and enough money children will start fighting for it. On the other hand, if parents are penniless they end up in old age homes and there won’t be any trace of the children who enjoyed the fruits of their efforts and lives. This is one of those unfortunate events that we all dislike when we hear it, but we see people do this time and time again. So having money and not having money, both create conflicts in the family.
What are the solutions?
“Studies have shown that financial concerns are among the most common sources of disagreement for couples. And according to the 2014 APA Stress in America survey1, almost a third of adults with partners (31 percent) reported that money is a major source of conflict in their relationship. But money doesn’t have to be a wedge in your relationship. With practice, you and your partner can learn to talk about finances in a healthier, more satisfying way. ” commented in an article of American Psychological Association.
There are many suggestions by different people in various categories of life, but here we mention a few which we feel as very important:
Create a Detailed Budget
A detailed budget and maintenance of daily accounts will be a practical solution. Budget means ‘ expected’ income and expenditure. Accounts are your daily expenses and income. It is better you cross-check with your income with your budgetary income or expenses with budgetary expenses.
Set some Goals and Rules
Once you have your budget and accounts are there, it is easy to put some rules as well. For eg.
1. Average daily expenses for the house including food should not exceed than $____ per day or week.
2. Take yourselves an allowance of $____ per month for personal expense, Transport, Coffee out etc. This applies to each adult individual. If hits on a ceiling, then that is it; no enhancement, no advance and no loans.
3. Separate budget should be prepared for Children’s education, sickness, extracurricular activities etc.
4. Also for House Loan, Car Loar, Personal Loan etc
5. If you are planning to buy a house or new car or go for a vacation, budgeting for it also will ease your finances. You need to find a way for its finance too.
6. Agree that any expenses more than, say $100 will be discussed prior to its execution, if not budgeted.
Set up a Contingency Fund
It is very important to have a contingency fund to face any unforeseen events, such as medical, loss of vehicle and its replacement, natural calamities, etc. When you budget a percentage of the total income should be transferred to this account regularly every month and it should be not be touched whatever the case may be. Later this fund can be converted to easily soluble assets such as bonds, bank deposits etc
Finally, if your parents are living and even if they do not need any financial assistance, it is advisable to keep a percentage of your income for them also. Either you can add this amount to contingency fund or give them once in a while as a gift. They need your financial, physical and mental help in their old age.
Realize that these plans are not a perfect solution, but it will ease your tensions and worries and will help you to manage what you don’t agree.