Monday, July 29, 2013

Book "Home Finances for Couples". Extract from Chapter 1. "Glue for the family: Shared goals"

I plan to publish my book "HOME FINANCES for COUPLES. 
Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to manage Family Budget"
on August 20th, 2013.

At this blog you can taste pieces that are ready. 

Here is the short video preview of Chapter 1 

Here is the extract from Chapter 1. "Family Glue: Shared Goals".

...Family Glue

Have you ever thought about what keeps a family together? You might name love, positive emotions, personality, chemistry, drive and spirituality. Well, those are mostly things that got you into a long-term relationship, but feelings fade after two to three years of marriage. From that point of your relationship, “success in marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Marriage becomes a decision to make and then you stick to it.

From my observations, a married couple sticks together because the family glue usually contains the following elements:
Children are always the Number-1 or Number-2 factor in a couple’s life, as stated by numerous researches and surveys. Basically, a relationship consists of two parts: The part before the first baby was born and the part after that. Children can be a source of trouble in marriage, but, as most parents know, at the end of the day, they are a source of joy and the very strongest family glue. 

Values and mutual trust require an honest and open atmosphere, in which a married couple shares their thoughts and emotions with respect to each other’s opinion. We will discuss values and open money talks in Chapter 3.

Good times together means not only memories of your courtship and honeymoon, but also memories of all the memorable moments in your shared lives that happened already or will happen in the future.
Finally, shared dreams and goals are the greatest interest for this particular book, since they often require money. 

By the way, you might wonder about the difference between a dream and a goal. I understood the distinction very well because of my marriage. A dream is usually bigger and more abstract, while a goal has a timeline and is more specific. For instance, a dream is a house in the country with two happy children playing on the green grass on the yard. A goal is a modern three-bedroom building in the residential community with a clear agreed-upon mortgage payment schedule. 

Since this is a book about finance, we are going to be more specific and talk about financial goals. I split the goals into short-term and long-term categories. Here is a sample list to show the most common ones. 

Short-term goals:
•    New car
•    Major household improvement
•    Vacation fund
•    Emergency fund (in Ukraine and Russia, it’s called “black day fund”)
•    Money for birth program
•    Help for elderly parents

Long-term goals:
•    New house
•    Children’s education fund
•    Savings for retirement
•    Starting capital for own business
•    Financial freedom (money working for you, and not you working for money)

Exercise 1.1: First, please make two individual goal lists with your partner. Select your top three short-term items and top three long-term items from your list. Rank them from 10 to 1, according to importance, with 10 being the most important.

Next, compare your list with your partner and agree on at least one financial goal that your family is going to work on right after you complete this exercise. Also, discuss with your partner all of your 10s and explain why you want to achieve them.

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