Family Relationships

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Adapting to the 'Great Recession'

What we are living through today may be a once-in-a-lifetime economic downturn. And chances are this "Great Recession" has created turmoil in your marriage. In a recession of this magnitude, tough decisions often need to be made. But smart couples who adapt well keep one eye on the future and respond quickly to the short-term realities. Here are tips that work equally well in good times and bad.

Share the chore of money management, regardless of who has been in charge of the finances in the past. This job may be more than one can handle and the support of putting two heads together can give you clarity about the issues. After listening to each other’s input and being open to compromise, make your major money decisions together. Take small or large steps, depending on your particular circumstances. At this time, taking out new credit cards should be an option rarely used as this is, in essence, living beyond your means. And that contributed to the financial mess in the first place. As difficult as it may be, commit to a simpler lifestyle.

The most important money management skill is creating a budget, enumerating what needs to be saved and what can be spent. Set long term financial goals, as well as short term objectives that will take you in the direction of saving. Any deviations from the budget should be discussed and mutual decisions made. Conventional wisdom speaks to having an emergency cushion – that is, enough savings for living about six months in the event of job loss or extended health problems.

Click on the title of this post and read an article about re-examining your relationship during transitiions on

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