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Who Wants to Be Rich?
Well you may not become a billionaire or even a millionaire, but research shows that marriage helps couples and individuals generate more income and wealth than singles, and even cohabitating couples.
According to The Marriage Project researchers out of Rutgers University in New Jersey,
"... People who marry become economically better off. Men become more productive after marriage; they earn between ten and forty percent more than do single men with similar education and job histories. Marital social norms that encourage healthy, productive behavior and wealth accumulation play a role. Some of the greater wealth of married couples results from their more efficient specialization and pooling of resources, and because they save more. Married people also receive more money from family members than the unmarried (including cohabiting couples), probably because families consider marriage more permanent and more binding than a living-together union..."
If married couples have so much potential to be wealthy, why are money issues one of the leading causes of divorce? I have one simple answer. When couples take their focus off of their partner's emotional, physical and spiritual needs to worry about their finances or acquire more material possessions, they loose sight of one of the greatest missions and privileges of life: to love another human being.
Money is a wonderful and powerful tool, but don't let it consume you. Here are seven ways to find balance and keep your marriage happy and healthy.
1. Set financial goals for your family and prioritize them.
2. Develop a spending plan that can help both parties feel fulfilled. A great example of this strategy can be found in Debt-Proof Your Marriage: How to Achieve Financial Harmony by Mary Hunt.
3. Owe no one anything but love. Work towards being debt free.
4. Create a savings plan that includes 3-6 months living expenses. Then focus on investments. It may be tight, but try living off of one income for a time.
5. Try to find ways to be generous and give to charitable organizations regularly. If you belong to a church, tithe.
6. Pay the bills together. I know it may seem hard to find the time at first, but it can be a chance to review current spending.
7. Work towards owning a home (or a new car) only when you're ready. Don't feel the urge to do it because you've had a baby, your friends are doing it, or you're "tired of renting".
I leave you with this final word: Richness is not about having more money or showing off what you have. It's about finding abundance where you are and having courage, grace and savvy to go beyond your current circumstance.Be rich.
Keishia Lee-Louis is the Editor and Publisher of http://www.Married4Good.com (launching November 2005). Her work has appeared on iVillage.com, BibleResourceCenter.com, and in numerous other printed publications.
Currently, she lives with her husband, daughter and son and is writing a book on marriage and relationships which will be published Spring 2006.
If you'd like to see more of her work, visit http://married4good.blogspot.com
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