Friday, August 2, 2013

Let's talk about Finances

Ok, I’m gonna really try so this isn’t a long post; help me Jesus, work this miracle J

‘Money isn’t everything but make sure you make enough before you can say that’. Those are the words captioned in a picture on my phone. Surely, with the present economy and demands of day-to-day living, I do not need to qualify the importance of financial stability and buoyancy. The business of living cannot be achieved without meeting some needs, and even the basic ones require a medium of exchange which is mostly money. So, while money may not be ‘everything’ and we shouldn’t be controlled by it; living without money can be a herculean task.

I can get the figures and statistics but all you have to do is take a closer look around you and you will find that finances is a major score to settle in marriages. Responsibilities abound and if they are not met, frustration and conflict tend to set in. Praise George said, ‘poverty will frustrate love until it fades away’ and I am inclined to agree with him. In the span of two weeks, some of the occurrences I have experienced reinforce the importance of Financial Agreement in a marriage and there was no way I was gonna rest until I shared it on here, so let’s muse together shall we?

I still cannot find the answer to this question a lady asked on a group I belong to on Facebook: why do most men get offended when their wives ask about how they spend money? Apparently, some men believe that if they make the money, they have a right to spend it as they please and are not to be held accountable to their spouse nor God. That kind of brother shouldn’t have bothered to get married. In marriage, I believe the ‘my’ is traded for the ‘our’; it’s no more ‘my money’ but ‘our money’ because how money is spent affects the entire family. Can two walk together except they agree? It’s not a cliché, agreement and compatibility in finances is imperative. This is an area that should be thoroughly addressed BEFORE saying ‘I do’.

Where there is unity and agreement, there is progress. This is not about financial affluence or lack but about compatibility and met expectations. Who is gonna pay which bill? Who is responsible for what? What amount of money do we spend on feeding and monthly groceries? What standard of living do we want? How often do we go on vacations? Do we run a joint account or contribute a certain percentage of our incomes monthly? What percentage of our incomes goes to what? Who does what? Talk about it and settle it before signing the certificate. There is no one size that fits all and it really depends on the two individuals involved but there is a predestined way that God has ordained things and if you want His blessings and a marriage like he created it to be, you best be doing it His way. Please click here

In view of the post provided through the link, the importance of a woman’s role in a marriage is in no way undermined, Proverbs 31 y’all! Both man and woman have significant roles to play in the success of a marriage but where finances are concerned, the man’s role is more prominent and this is why the focus is on the men. Nowadays, a lot of marriages have mixed up these God ordained roles and responsibilities. The woman plays the husband’s role while the man becomes the wife and we wonder why the divorce rate is competing favourably with Mount Everest.

Having established the importance of finances in a marriage and the responsibility of the man to provide for his home, the onus lies of the two individuals coming together as man and wife to set the pace they want. Financial Compatibility, Financial Intelligence/Wisdom, Financial Accountability, value for money, attitude towards money, background, standard of living are some of the factors to be considered. A lady from a wealthy home may marry a guy from an average background if they have an agreement. Can the guy meet up to the standard the lady is accustomed to or is the lady willing to sacrifice and learn to live in a more meager way? In my experience, people are usually aiming for financial increase and not decrease but where there is an agreement, things tend to run better.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman shouldering the family finances when situations arise and the man cannot, this is why she is a helpmeet BUT it is NOT the woman’s responsibility to provide for the home and such a situation shouldn’t be for too long. I am an advocate of a professional career woman who earns an income and contributes to the family finances, what I however do not subscribe to is a situation where this is considered her responsibility. No one wants to marry a liability and it is advisable for women to also earn and contribute to the finances in the home; this not only boosts the purse of the family but also provides an enabling and supportive environment. The clause is when the man becomes comfortable with the woman taking care of all the financial responsibility in the home. I have seen and heard enough to know that NO WOMAN is happy carrying the financial responsibility in the home but if you know one who is, I am willing to meet her. A man is naturally a provider and takes pride in his ability to cater for his home; it is the way it is.

The clause here is compatibility; don’t be unequally yoked with someone who doesn’t share your orientation about money and finances: someone who considers taking vacations a waste of money while you think otherwise, someone who doesn’t have financial intelligence but wants to control the money, and someone who gambles and invests on whims, the list is endless. Money can be the root of evil only when we allow it to be. Money shouldn’t control a man and so it is important that we understand its workings and do the needful to avoid financial conflicts in marriage. I am not saying there won’t be money issues in marriage but it shouldn’t threaten it. If you are in doubt about how money can indeed end a marriage, I leave you with this real occurrence Praise George shared:

Jide and Sharon (not real names) were in love and set to marry each other. Jide was an upcoming artist who was finding his feet and thus didn’t have a regular income flow while Sharon who is from a wealthy home had a fabulous job with a fabulous income. They sought counsel from him and he advised Jide to wait till he had a regular source of income before marrying Sharon who was accustomed to having the fine things of life, so he could provide them for her. They allayed his concerns explaining that Sharon’s income was enough to take care of their financial needs until Jide found his feet. Two years into marriage, they divorced. Jide’s business did not boom and Sharon got tired of ‘wearing the pants’ in the home, she felt she even did better as a single than when married. Need I say more? Nah #nuff said!

Mo’ Omoregee 2013


sola Akinbode said...

I work as a project engineer and know that what is designed on paper doesnt always transfer smoothly to the field. while agreeing with the above, it is easy to see many marriages fail not because the two do not know, but they find it hard to do.

Take for example the case of someone I know who finds it hard to resist buying a new thing once salaries come in. A typical spending curve for this individual would look more like a supply curve. (dust your economics books folks). if I were to marry this person... well, lets just say "it is well".

To achieve agreement folks, in something like finances, we need good old discipline, open channels of communication, patience and consideration, long suffering... lots of longsuffering.

No body should venture to marry who is not ready to have their financial boats rocked, comfort zones violated; who is not ready to negotiate and commit to loving inconditionally until a compromise is reached.

That's just my opinion anyway. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so i stopped reading this blog and a couple one has that kinda time to read a long epistle, especially when the content is so poor.

There are standards in public writing, font size, font colour etc.

Ladies should learn that marriage is not a bed of roses, if a woman happens to find herself in a position to provide for the family she should do it with all of her mind. If you like the good things of life as a lady, then make enough to provide you these good things.

This write up is so poor, i don't even know where to start correcting it, you have not been married before nor been in a relationship so i wonder where all these your conclusions is coming from.

There are no standards here, what works for A would never work for B. What if the man is not able to work? Plenty what ifs....take a chill pill, do plenty research and studies before serving crap all in the name of writing. Or better still write about what you know about, simple.

Omoregee said...

@Sola......True, transferring 'the know' to 'the do' isn't always easy, mof if it were easy, the majority wouldn't default but it however doesn't excuse what is right and needs to be done.
I agree with you, discipline is VERY important with finances and lots of patience helps not just with finances but with all aspects of marriage.

For emphasis, agreement in financial orientation presents a common ground, DO NOT marry someone hoping to change their financial outlook in marriage, habits die hard. Thanks for reading and sharing :)

@ Anonymous.......Oh dear, I had a good laff reading your seriously? I struck a nerve, no? You found my post too lengthy but went ahead to write a lengthy comment? Hehehehe.

Uuhm, you do know most of what you have written has no backing, thus can be termed baseless, but unlike you, I draw my references from the word of God. Humour me for a sec, you read your bible yeah? Jesus, Paul, Peter, and most of the apostles.....were they married? My dear, God is still able to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and contrary to popular belief, experience is not the best teacher because we have people who have experienced some things but still do not learn from it.

P.S: a write-up shouldn't be termed poor just because you do not agree with it, I am open to correction and learning but not when the attitude isn't right, pls come up with a standard and then we can talk better, preferably in disclosed identity, don't hide behind anonymity next time. Thanks for reading :)

Anonymous said...

if u knew abt speead reading, u'ld know wat is called skimming. I didn't have to read thru the whole epistle.

So in ur mind, its only u that reads the bible? Which part of ur write-up is backed by the bible? This part, "Jide’s business did not boom and Sharon got tired of ‘wearing the pants’ in the home, she felt she even did better as a single than when married."? or which other part?

You need to know that marriage is not a bed of roses, the criteria to marry him should not be he can handle all the bills.

My sister is married to a man who is an OND holder, earns less than 50k while she has a PhD and earns close to 200k per month (plus other allowances). They have been married for 4yrs plus with 2children.

Was it the fault of the man that he was not able to go beyond OND, or he earns less or he cannot afford to foot the bill?

Madamme my point if u care to read n not be sarcastic is there is no formula that works for all. One of ur assumption, "NO WOMAN is happy carrying the financial responsibility in the home but if you know one who is, I am willing to meet her" is wrong. What if he is incapacitated? U'ld leave him and become single again?

You gave me the choice to be anonymous n u cry cos i choose the choice u offered?

Omoregee said...

@ Anonymous....ooooooh dear :)
As much as I would love to address most of what you have up there, its already in the post. What I actually meant is that if you are going to castigate me for a lengthy post, should you really write a lengthy comment, speck in my eye, log in yours? :)

It is obvious that even with the 'speed reading' (note the spelling :)) you have done, you still had time to draw out phrases from the post. In the future, if you are going to criticise a write-up (not beef talk), it is important to read through it and have the right facts....oooh n pls ensure your grammatical structuring is right too, fit for 'public writing' hehehehe.
Most of what you claim I wrote isn't what it is but you would know this if you actually calmed down to objectively read the post. E.g. Did you read this part: 'There is no one size that fits all and it really depends on the two individuals involved but there is a predestined way that God has ordained things......'

In conclusion, please know that Fountain Flows is NOT a blog where I come to rant, it has a mission that stems from a vision. Contrary opinions and counter arguments are welcome (we all are learning) but God's standards will always remain His standards. I wish you the very best with the attitude :)

Anonymous said...

What you wrote is not God's standard, no its not. Even your responses are neither here nor there. I still choose to be anonymous.

Omoregee said...

Really.....God's word isn't His standard? Read Genesis 2, 1Tim 5:8, Amos 3:3 and Prov 31. God bless you :)

Sisi Yemmie ™ said...

Finances is a big issue in marriage!

Omoregee said...

Touche Sisi Yemmie, touche...

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