The Big Financial Trap That is Destroying Marriages
Society as a whole has been falsely programmed in believing that in order to thrive financially; we need to live off of two incomes in our households. That belief system is an absolute MYTH! It’s actually a terrible idea to base your financial lifestyle off of both you and your spouse’s income. As a matter of fact, you should live off of only one of your incomes. If the recent economic downturn of 2008 taught us anything, it’s that we need to be very careful with how we go about making large purchases.
You should never buy a house based off of two incomes, and most definitely you should not purchase a vehicle in that manner either. You may say, “Well in that case, we won’t be able to live at all”. That’s simply not true! If you make the conscious decision to base all of your major financial necessities off of one income, you will actually be living a much better life full of flexibility and options. We personally took this approach from the very beginning in our marriage, and have been able to avoid financial disaster as a result.
Steering Clear of the Trap
We made the purposeful decision, to live our life based simply on one of our incomes alone. We took into consideration the possibility that one day, becoming a stay at home mom could become to be a reality. We also considered the fact that one of us could one day be laid off from work. We knew for a fact, that we did not want our family to be stretched too thin financially. We knew that we would be placing ourselves on the brink of losing everything, if we instead built a lifestyle created on the basis of having two incomes. By using this approach, we were able to use the other person’s income to do other more meaningful things. As an example, while living off of one income, we used our second income to invest into a real estate venture.
This is an opportunity we would have not been able to take advantage of, if we needed both of our incomes to simply make ends meet. Having established this type of lifestyle allowed us to jump into the investment world with both feet, without being afraid. More importantly, we were also able to give more to our local church, as well as to people that were in need. Additionally, we went on family vacations, and even dined out at a few fancy places from time to time. One of the biggest financial benefits was that we were able to continuously add to our growing savings and investment accounts.
Big Time Decisions
Our fortitude was really put to the test, by the time we had our second child. I made the big time decision to come home and stay with our children. It started to become really challenging juggling work schedules, child care, cooking dinner, and all of the millions of obligations that come along with being a career woman. So for me personally, the best thing to do was to come home full time. Surprisingly, this actually became an easy transition for me. The key ingredient that made the transition a smooth one, was the fact that we had already established a level of lifestyle that did not involve my income. As a matter of fact, we ended up purchasing a larger home for our growing family shortly thereafter. By God’s grace, we were able to do so, strictly based on my husband’s income!
How many people are working at a job that they can’t stand, simply because they have to keep up with their lifestyle, and all the payments that come along with it? If we would have based all of our financial needs off of both of our incomes, there is no way that I would’ve been able to follow my heart’s desire and come home full time with our children. It brings me so much joy when I can take our children to school, without thinking about impending bills to pay, based on me working outside of the home. It’s something that you can get use to very quickly. We would not have been able to do this, if we did not BUDGET our life based solely on one income!
Why Not You?
Creating and sticking to a budget every single month, is what has allowed us to properly use my husband’s salary more efficiently. If you are in a household with two incomes, take the next couple of months and do a trial run. Make all of your financial decisions based off of one of your salaries. You may have to cut back on some things to make it work. However, you will quickly find out that it’s simply the best way for you to establish your lifestyle. Nobody knows for certain what’s awaiting them down the road. However, we can all proactively plan for our future in the best way that we know how.
Talaat and Tai McNeely
His and Her Money | Personal Finance Educators