There is a direct link between marital choices and poverty level in a society.
Finance is a core requirement in marriage and we often tend to downplay or overshoot it.
There are two sides to it. How you marry now and the prospects you hold.
Traditionally, a man is expected to be in charge of finances in the home so he often has to wait until he is able to do so before getting married.
The pressure is not as much on women, many do who, marry even if they are not working.
In the end, it is the sort of system created in marriage that decides what level of living people would have.
Household income is that which is available to the family for use but different things affect it. There’s actual income available and there’s usage of it.
A lot of homes do not earn enough to sustain the system they have created. A lot of homes have enough to sustain the system but do not optimise the usage of their funds.
It is important to have a financial model here but the concept of that is alien to many, typical just doing it as it comes without any structure and financial plan.
But then we pray and look to God for sustenance, not so? Yes, this is the bit many get wrong. It doesn’t matter how well your prayers are answered. If you keep using the wrong financial model for your home, it may not show. That’s when you’d find people who don’t have as much as you have access to, appearing to live better.
It is common to find, today, women with the mindset that a man’s income is to cater for the whole home while their own income is for them alone. Again, if we are going with the traditional mindset, this, in different quarters, will be accepted but then how does this key into our social, economic and financial realities? A household that can pool resources, stay loyal to it’s goals and work as one, will have more to work with hence, expanding their heights and possibilities. A household divided on traditional defaults or dwelling on lack of financial trust will not be able to have access to all it should potentially do.
Our marital decisions are key. Think about how a man who is not able to take care of one wife, is asking to marry another. Of course, this will mean a drop in level of existence except the new wife is to be married as a source of financial growth for the while house (hopefully, the issues with this are glaring and don’t need to be touched at this point). Unfortunately, what will see play out a lot today is of people who are no even capable of giving a good level of living to one wife, seeking more.
Where a person is today is key but where a person is able to go is as important (if not more). You may begin with the basics but if you are able to grow, things will get better. This is where the concept of adding value and having a direction comes in. A person who adds value is more likely to get better chances to grow their finances than one who doesn’t. But then, you need to even have a direction well defined first.
Marriage is a journey with your spouse. It is a place of significant influence so the type of person you select as one will decide what sort of financial influence you get.
A spouse that is wasteful will drain your family reserves if you don’t do something about it, leaving you suffering the same consequences as perhaps, someone who is wasteful. Beyond this, it is also important for a spouse to have financial sense. Contributing to the financial pool is better but where a person is only able to contribute in terms of helping to save cost, good financial counsel etc then the person helps to grow too.
There’s the role of orientation, influence and youthful exuberance too. Love is good and conquers a lot but love does not put food on the table. Marriage is a place of responsibility; financial responsibility. At a younger age and before marriage, many underestimate this and make decisions they have not been counselled right on. Surrounded by people who also made these decisions, it becomes their path until they get in and realise they are not comfortable with what they did. If they’d be able to admit it and decide to grow from that point is another question entirely.
Then we get to the point of children. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a large family but it is important for this to be a family we can take care of. In some cultures of our society, it is common to hear statements like “a child brings what he’d eat” being used as the justification for bringing fort children one cannot, at the moment, take care of. Raising a child is massive and will have a direct drain on your resources so the more you have, the harder the drain. Again, where you are able to adequately take care of them, why not?
Multiply this mindset throughout the society and suddenly you begin to understand how our marital choices have played a role in where we are economically given the current and domino effects of it.
Still, we can do better. It begins with you and I.