Most people will tell you, the number one thing a couple fights about is money. Financial coaches say it’s one of the main leading causes of divorce.
From maxed out credit cards to a lack of budgeting, and everything in between, couples often face hardships that could be avoided.
“It was very hard, it just came between us. We almost lost our marriage actually.” said Claudia Huse.
High school sweethearts Scott & Claudia Huse of Elm Springs have been married for almost three decades. From the outside looking in, you wouldn’t know they went through one of the toughest times in their lives just a few years ago.
“There was a time of pressure in 2008-2011. I had a business that went very negative and that really woke us up.” said Scott Huse.
“We spent every dime that we made… for a long time actually. Until we finally found ourselves in so much debt that we had to do something. We had to make a change.” said Claudia.
With 13 credit cards, the Huse were swimming in $159,000 in debt; their marriage falling apart with every dollar spent. They finally sought help from Credit Counseling of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
“We got involved in their debt management program where you go in and they have certain plans set up with credit card companies with reduced interest rates.” said Scott.
The Huse met with counselor Mary Sanchez who said they’re not alone.
“The number one cause of divorce in the United States is because of financial problems. I have literally had several clients who have come in and say that their marriage was in jeopardy because of their financial situation.”
Throughout the dating process, you often think about personality differences, past history, and expectations in marriage, but Sanchez said money is hardly every brought up.
“Over the years I’ve had clients come in where the spouse didn’t know about the credit cards that had been opened and it causes a lot of problems so the communication is extremely important.”
According to financial planner and founder of Freedom 5:1, Chris Hass, being financially compatible is as important as anything else.
“Most people have not had any kind of training on how to do a financial plan.” Haas said.
According to Haas and Sanchez, the most important thing to do when it comes to money is make a budget and stick to it.
“You think about putting a plan together you might be a little more restricted but it’s actually the opposite. Once you have defined where you want your money to go and how you want to spend your money it actually brings a lot of freedom.” Haas said.
The Huse family is proof of that. After sticking to a strict money management plan, they were able to clear out their $159,000 of debt in just three years. The new homeowners say if they can do it, so can you.
“Our marriage was under pressure but if you want to fix it you need help from somebody that knows more than you.” said Scott.
“You have to decide that you want to do the work. It’s not gonna be easy, it’s not going to be fun but you have to make that decision that we’re not going to let this take our marriage down.” said Claudia.
According to Haas and Sanchez, another great way to manage your money is to set aside an emergency fund for things like car repairs or medical bills. That way when life happens, you are already prepared.
Here are some of the places in our area that can help you if you are in debt or in need of financial coaching: