When economic times are difficult, married couples often feel the effects in their love lives. However, Rabbi Shmuley says there's a hidden blessing in every curse. "The blessing of the bad economy is that you get to communicate more about problems," he says. "Financial pressures afford an opportunity for husbands and wives to become closer."
It's important to have realistic expectations for your finances, Rabbi Shmuley says. He offers advice on ways to save money and improve your marriage:
- Put less money in your savings. Although it's responsible to have savings, Rabbi Shmuley says it's better to save your marriage. "It's panic and fear that will undermine your future, not your short-term financial problems," he says.
- Talk about finances at the right time. If you're worried about money, Rabbi Shmuley says to pick the right time to talk about the bills.
- Hire a financial planner. This person can assist you with your finances.
- Control your bad habits. Buying junk you don't need isn't going to make you happy, he says.
- Take fewer vacations. Rabbi Shmuley suggests a "stay-cation," where you relax at home instead of a trip.
- Have your children help more around the house. Have them do chores that you are currently paying others to do, like a cleaning service or lawn maintenance. "You should not be spending money on things your kids should be helping with," he says. "It teaches your kids real responsibility."
- Have date/family night at home. Rabbi Shmuley suggests watching movies at home for less money than going to the movie theater.
"Many of us make the mistake of believing that security comes from money in the bank. Well, that's wrong. Plenty of people have money and an ex-spouse who hates them and kids who only call them for money. Real security in life comes from having a joyous marriage and children who are well adjusted and actually enjoy spending time with you. That's about as wealthy as a person can be."