10 Survival Tips For Couples During A Recession
Finance is a thorny issue in most homes. Research has shown that one of the chief reasons why marriages hit the rock faster than any other is finance. Today, many married couples are facing greater financial difficulties than ever before. There are housing issues, unpaid school fees, energy matters arising from buying fuel for cars and generators, everyday cost for running the home, salaries for domestic help including the driver, wardrobe allowance, extended family budget, socialization including aso-ebi and other trivial spending to name a few. The average home spend at least N4,000 on a daily basis.
With the rising cost of living, it is becoming increasingly difficult for only the man to bear the financial burden alone. Therefore women have joined in the race to make money, to complement the efforts of their husbands but this has brought about some unexpected and uncomplimentary results leading to conflicts that oftentimes result in divorce or separation.
Arguments generated from financial issues often lead to serious conflicts ending in all kinds of name calling. I have heard women say that their husbands are stingy and others say that their husbands would prefer giving the money to outsiders or even to the church to show off or better still so that people would sing their praise. The men would say that the major problem is that their wives do not know how to manage money. Besides, they complain that the women are extravagant and would buy anything in the market all in the name of fashion without prioritizing. So it is best not to give them their hard earned money to squander as they like. They would rather invest it in stock.
Recession weakens the economy therefore bringing about a downturn in financial prosperity. It’s a period of time when trade is interrupted, there’s a waning of assets, and capital slumps as low as a garden slug. A typical recession never lasts long but it can be very painful. In the light of these harsh economic realities how can couples wade through recession without hurting their sweet relationship or without creating a big gash in their love life?
Here are 10 Survival Tips
1. Support and Collaboration
Recession presents to us an opportunity to show how tenacious and resilient we can be. It's a test on our love and our ability to withstand discomfort without murmuring and complaints. Our spouses need our patience and great understanding. They need reassurance that you are there through thick and thin. This is when to live out that part of the marital vow we always wanted expunged "for worse". Your spouse needs your strong arms to rise up and your shoulders to lean on. He/she needs your open arms to run to after a long fruitless day. He needs your wise counsel and encouragement and assurance that all will be well. Help to build his/her self-esteem by letting him/her know how hard they are working and how proud you are of him/her.
During the period of recession, it is not the time to pretend or be like the Joneses, play the big daddy and flaunt what you do not have just because you want to prove you belong or be in the good books of people. Lay it on the table and let the family know exactly the way things are. It is always very effective when the family has a true picture of what likely comes in every month. I know a lot of men may not agree, but really you may short change yourselves when you keep this information back. Knowledge of the monthly income on both sides helps planning and streamlines expectations. Couples should plan their expenditures based on what they have at hand and not what they are expecting. Couples should sew their coats according to their cloths. Do not aim to impress because at the end of the day you are not accountable to anyone but God on how you run your family.
3. Good Parenting
Over indulgence is a no-no at this time. True our children deserve the best but in times of recession we must teach them to be realistic by presenting to them true picture of the way things are. We must learn to give children a good dose of Vitamin N (NO) especially now. According to Dr. John Rosemond, author and psychologist, Prager University, we should practice the principle of benign deprivation whereby we give our children 100% of what they need and 25% of what they want. If we are not already doing so, we must instill in our children a culture of hard work, sacrifice and doing their best. Do more to protect, care and give them a sense of direction to help them through the journey of life. That is why more than anything else you must learn to say NO; not harshly, but with realistic and understandable clarification.
Control your appetite for things that are not of paramount importance; things that are not needed. This is the time to curb your excesses in your social life. I don't want to list areas of excesses so we don't start apportioning blames. With cooperation and support on both sides and in agreement you both can identify areas to cut down and areas to sustain with some adjustments here and there.
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