So you want to get married? That's wonderful; however, can you take care of a spouse or support them at all? Can you even take care of or support yourself? First let's take a look at education.
WARNING: This might be a touchy subject for some. I literally got kicked out of Facebook group for touching on this subject. Read with caution.
Education. Why Is Education Important?
Education effects your earning power.
Consider, people with lesson education tend to make less money and have higher unemployment rates than those with a college degree or higher.
In 2015, the US unemployment rate was 5.3%. However, of that 5.3% that was unemployed, the results were the following:
- 8% unemployed with no high school diploma
- 5.4% unemployed with just a high school diploma
- 2.8% unemployed with a bachelor or higher
The purpose of these statistics goes to show the financial reality of families if we do and don't prepare for our futures.
Lack of Educational Preparedness
I was taught by some old-schooled Christian adults, much to the chagrin of my parents. I always talked about going to school and becoming a lawyer. Being a young girl, I was easily influenced off of that track by those who ‘went down the path’ or ‘those who knew better’. I am a Christian and have no qualms or regrets that I am one, but, I wish I had better teaching that taught me to be more prepared for life. Allow me to explain:
When I was younger, it was my friends and acquaintances utmost desire to get married. Many people didn’t have anything to offer a spouse; but, it was assumed that if you get a good man (or you are a good man) who loves the Lord, God will take care of your needs. I agree with that because it’s true. However, I found that when I, as a woman,
attempted to pursue ‘my’ education, I didn’t have a lot of support. Why? Because there was a gentleman who would eventually become my husband and it was my job to help him. It was my duty to get married and we could accomplish much together because I was a good fit for him. This is how people where in my ear. I told you, I was taught by old-school adults.
As I mentioned, I didn’t have a lot of supporters who advocated education – especially the female going to college. My husband had a high school diploma who didn’t have a desire to go back to school and I had ‘some college’ when we married. Needless to say, we suffered greatly financially. While I made a little more money, we underwent some nasty pressures due to finances.
I since learned that if you want another person in your life (male or female), you need to prepare for that other person. Again, if you can’t support them or work with them, you need to ask yourself, are you being a burden to them? If you can barely support yourself, you may not be ready for marriage.
Lack Of Financial Education
Another reason that people struggle with finances is that they’re not taught how to manage money. How in the world do we teach marriage, but don’t teach money? I remember while dating my husband, I complained to many friends who were married longer about our money woe’s and responsibility or lack thereof. I was quite surprised that only one friend gave me some sound advice. One friend told me that perhaps I should consider calling off the wedding. Believe me, I was for that because I was overly stressed about finances. However, most people ignored my concerns.
There was a gentleman who gave us one budgeting class one month before the wedding. ONE MONTH. Sadly, my friends, at that time, were the type of people who felt that everything would work itself out. Well, I found out why they felt this way. They, themselves, were not taughthow to handle money. They couldn’t teach what they didn’t have. They were struggling as well. However, they didn’t have the courage to tell me or anyone else to jump ship. Their motto was, “I turned out ok. It’ll work out for you as well.”
Financial education, in this day and time, is excruciatingly important. Financial education includes
- Financial discipline,
- Why savings is important,
- Why it’s important to start a 401K now
- Having a strong sense of where your money is going
- Investments, etc.
Sadly, these things are not taught in schools as they should be and are not regularly taught by parents. Unfortunately, people pass
on the same lack of knowledge from generation to generation. We replicate many people who struggled before us. It has to end.
Unfortunately, in many religious institutions Christian marriage finances are not always dealt with before the marriage. Many people that counsel young couples who want to get married, touch on finances, but offer classes on how to deal with finances. Some churches offer budgeting seminars every now and then, but leave the couple to work out their own struggles on their own. Marriage financial counseling and marriage financial planning is super important; church or not.
Money Is the Leading Cause of Stress in a Relationship
According to CNBC, money is the leading cause of stress in a relationship. A survey done by SunTrust Bank found that of 35% of those who participated in the survey said that money was the primary cause of friction. Is it the lack of education that effects the earning power? Or is it the lack of discipline or both? Marriage financial problems are incredibly common.
1″Money really touches everything. It impacts people's lives,” said Emmet Burns, brand marketing director for SunTrust.
If you can’t afford to live, what can you do? How will it affect your spouse? How will it affect your children? Personally, I know some who have lived in the pockets of their friends until they didn’t need them anymore. Keep in mind, friendships like that will even be affected if you’re constantly borrowing.
Failing to prepare and failing to discipline one’s self can cause your love-interest to eventually lose respect for you.
We can be in love all we want, but whether on cloud 9 or off, we still have to live. Since we're so in love, how well do we prepare for the union of marriage?
I know this is a touchy subject, but if you have comments or questions that you'd like to add, feel free to make them below. Marriage financial counseling and marriage financial planning is so important. Please take the time to consider your financial picture before you marry.
Additionally, I will being offering financial classes in the first quarter of 2018. If you'd like to be sent notifications when they will be offered, please send me your email at: firstname.lastname@example.org