A very common issue with couple finances is that both spouses are not on the same page. Money stresses are all around us, and it’s all too easy for these to seep into our marriages and ruin relationships.

Is your financial committment on the rocks with your spouse? Here are three money-related problems that burden a marriage and how to overcome them.

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Growing up, I knew kids who were paid for their grades. An A was worth $X, and a B was worth a little less, and so on. My parents briefly flirted with the idea of paying my siblings and me for our grades but realized it didn’t really motivate us all that much.

It was unnecessary in my case since I’m internally motivated to do well. My siblings on the other hand just didn’t care about the money. They used it as an excuse to do poorly. After all, what was the point if they didn’t care about the money? In fact, only one out of the five of us was effectively motivated by money to get good grades.

Now that I have a child of my own, I’m trying to figure out how to motivate him to do well in school without turning to money.
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suits and ties
We’re all told that appearances shouldn’t matter — we shouldn’t judge other people by their appearances or make a priority of keeping up with the Joneses. But you’d think that we wouldn’t have to keep reinforcing these beliefs on appearance if they are such universal truths. We’d have no problem avoiding spending money on things that really just amount to keeping up our appearances.

The Value of Appearances

A lot of personal finance gurus draw a hard line against spending money on appearances. I can think of a few who only buy clothes from second-hand stores, drive cars that are more than ten years old and go to great lengths not to spend money on making them look good.
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One of the more interesting trends emerging from COVID is homeschooling. After all, we all got a taste of zoom classrooms and while many people had a hard time dealing with kids at home while trying to get work done, others like not needing to shuttle the kids around town multiple times a day. With the end of the school year in sight, I’ve been thinking about this issue quite a bit. There’s no way I’d ever homeschool my son, but I can understand why some parents feel it’s right for them. I know several families that homeschool, including some in my extended family.

For some, it means a better lifestyle – and saving money. Here’s what I mean:

The Homeschooling Lifestyle

Many of the families I know choose to homeschool because it fits their lifestyles. Just like your personal finances are individual, so is your lifestyle. Fitting it to your needs makes sense, however you decide to do it.
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mother and child
Juggling working at home while having two little ones underfoot is an extremely hard thing to do. On one hand, you are lucky to get the opportunity to work at home while still taking care of your children. On the other hand, little ones, whether you have one or more, require constant attention and love. It’s not an exaggeration to say that having kids can easily derail your business goals. How do you balance both?

Get Real Expectations

The first thing you have to do when trying to achieve balance in your work-at-home schedule with young kids is to set realistic expectations. You cannot really think you will be able to work through nap time every day. My first child has always been a strong sleeper (12 hours straight at night starting at eight weeks – I know, amazing!), but she still experienced sleep regressions, teething, and sickness every once in a while. Now add another kid or two into the mix, and nap and sleep schedules become quite unpredictable.

Set goals for your business each day, but also be prepared when life steps in the way. What will your plan B be if you can’t work during nap time or bedtime? Being realistic with yourself will help you to take on the right amount of workload that won’t stress you out. I cannot tell you how many times I allowed myself to get stressed over missed deadlines. Don’t make that mistake.
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So you’ve made that very difficult first step and decided it’s time to do something about your debt. Maybe you’ve reached the end of your financial rope. Perhaps you signed up for a money management program, enrolled in a debt relief plan, or maybe you’re doing it all on your own.

You’re excited about the prospect of finally getting your finances on track and starting down the path to achieving this thing called financial freedom that you’ve heard so much about. But before you take the plunge, there’s one prerequisite to getting started.

You need an emergency fund.
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