Do you remember in the 1970’s when the O.J.’s soulfully sang “Money, Money, Money, Money…MONEEEEEEY….Some people got to have it….Some people really need it”? Well…we don’t….because we were born in the late 70’s….however the gritty message leaping from the lyrics of that trak began ringing loudly in my ear as we began building our family in 2001. As most young couples experience….we began our marriage clueless of the complexity of managing money and marriage. We thought.. if I can manage mine and she can manage hers, then we can manage ours……Wrong. We learned real quick and continue to learn that you got to B Intentional when it comes to money and marriage. Check out this article from Black Enterprise.com which highlights tips from the highly acclaimed book Spousonomics.
Taken From Black Enterprise.com
You’re probably wondering: what does the hard, analytical world of economics have to do with the passionate merger commonly known as marriage? Well, according to The Wall Street Journal editor Paula Szuchman and New York Times reporter Jenny Anderson, a whole lot. In fact, both are convinced married couples can improve their relationship and quell any dispute by following the rules of economics, as detailed in their latest book, Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage and Dirty Dishes. “Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources and there is nothing, sort of, more prominent in marriages today than tension over how to allocate our time, energy, love and libido,” says Anderson. “Those are the issues couples fight about.” Here are 10 easy-to-follow business pointers on strengthening your marriage as soon as you say, ‘I do.
Spouses are Not Just Lifelong Companions But Business Partners As Well:
The authors say you should view your husband or wife as your business partner in addition to your lifelong companion. You’re working together not only for the good of the marriage, but as trading partners who exchange services. It’s the best of both worlds if done right.
Implement Division of Labor:
In a perfect world dividing every task up 50/50 is ideal, however, that “solution” doesn’t always work and negates specialization—completing tasks you do best in relation to other tasks. If you’re good at getting the kids up in the morning, then you should do that each morning versus switching with your partner every other day. You’re utilizing one’s talents in the best possible way and maximizing everyone’s time. Hence, the time saved can be used to complete other pending tasks or more leisure time.
Find the Right Incentives:
Forty-nine percent of the 200 people assessed during Szuchman and Anderson’s Exhaustive, Groundbreaking, and Very Expensive Survey admitted to using incentives to get their spouses to do things they couldn’t otherwise get them to do. A word to the wise: in marriage, thoughtful gestures far outweigh material ones. Save the signature blue Tiffany box for a special occasion.
Access the Trade-Offs:
Ask yourself: is it worth it in the long run? What will be the ultimate cost and benefit? For example, if you’re invited by your co-workers to get drinks after work, but you know it’s your night to cook dinner, you’ll have to decide the cost-benefit of the situation. Benefits: a few drinks, great conversation and a night out on the town. Costs: an upset wife/husband, a $75 tab and loss of personal time with the kids.
Sex—Supply and Demand:
According to the authors, the more it costs to have sex, the less it will happen. Like any product, you wind up raising the cost and lowering the demand. Here’s a quick solution: Keep it simple. Don’t make a big deal of going to expensive dinners and outings if you don’t have the money, sometimes a quiet meal at home while the kids are with their grandparents can be just as romantic—and cost effective.
Beware of Moral Hazard:
Some forms of moral hazard—acting less carefully or, at times, irresponsibly—are acceptable, while others should draw immediate red flags. According to the survey, 56% of married people said they put on weight after walking down the aisle. Meanwhile, 46% said they’re a little less affectionate with their loved one, with the most common excuse being they’re “too busy.” Be sure to take care of your appearance as well as maintaining the warmth in your relationship. Keep it new, yet simple!
Practice Optimal Reporting:
Yes, you might want your spouse to complete several tasks on the weekly to-do list, but make sure to prioritize those requests. If you know you want to see the bathroom sink and door get fixed, don’t nag your spouse about the entire list rather centralize your concerns.
Weigh Your Intertemporal Choices:
An intertemporal choice refers to an individual’s current decisions and how it affects their future options. Think carefully about the financial and day-to-day decisions you make and how those choices can play out in the long run. For example, it may seem like time is on your side, but choosing to invest at an early age is a smart, power move.
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