Is Your or Your Staff’s Approach To Finances Leading You to The Post Christmas Divorce Courts?

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by Kim Vermaak

Did you know that in the first working Monday of the year is dubbed “Divorce Day” by lawyers in the UK because of the increase in the number of people looking to end their marriages following the stress of Christmas and the New Year?

In the survey one in five people blamed their partner for their money problem, accusing them of overspending or failing to budget properly. Recently I heard someone say, “If someone tells you that money can’t buy happiness, ask them what poverty can buy.”

As a child I could remember a time where my parents fought so much that I wished they would get divorced.

But divorce can sometimes lead to more financial hardships and a lot of additional struggles that we don;t think of. Life is full of cycles and bad times can and do pass. But if you have a plan that you are actively working on for the future, you can get through to the other side with your dignity and marriage in tact.

Money is simply a tool. A tool that can buy options. Options in health, education, charity and lifestyle.

But if you are failing to budget, you are setting yourself and your family up for failure.

Many people do not even know how to budget. In fact of the couples surveyed who filed for divorce, over 70% of them did not have a budget.

On Sanlam’s website, they have a nice simple budgeting spreadsheet. We really recommend that you start working on a budget today. For your personal life and your business. It is not always easy to start a new habit and if you get a fright on your first look at your budget, don’t give up. Just keep at it.

Keep all your slips and use them to check what you are spending. Record them, to get a better understanding of where you are spending and where you could be saving. When there is an opportunity to make extra money, take it. Educate yourself about the new opportunity or venture and then simply go for it.

Sometimes we can cut back so much that our life seems an unbearable. So also budget for some fun activities. This will help you keep motivated. As a couple, my husband and I sometimes have “mini” dates. Where we just go out for an ice cream and stroll without the children. It allows us some private time together and costs around R 10.00 parking + R 50.00 for fuel + R 25.00 for ice cream, R 85.00 in total. A picnic is also a great low cost date. Your relationship is reliant on quality time, creating good memories and forgiveness.

Overspending eliminates any positive efforts that you put into your relationship.

Get your kids involved. Often we feel under pressure to buy things for our kids over Christmas, but if they understand a budget and the consequences of having a budget, they will begin to change their thinking as well.

I am not saying that you should not buy your kids presents. But work within a budget to avoid that over spending hangover and start your new year on a positive note.

A great empowering gift for your staff is the Smart Money Finance Journal.

Get yourself and your staff into the habit of recording your expenses. It will go a long way to creating better habits.

Staff who in financial crisis have a higher temptation to steal from the company they are working for.

A messy divorce, medical bills, debt, or a partner who was retrenched are all reasons why a trusted employee may look at the company’s cash differently. Everyone who steals from their employers start off thinking they are going to pay it back.

When you can educate your staff about finances and budgeting you help them and in the long run help yourself.