Calculating Your Financial Needs

Money may or may not be the root of all evil but it certainly can cause serious problems within a marriage. Is your marriage failing because of financial problems? Do you know what your financial obligations are and what it takes to meet them on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis?

If you are the personal in control of finances in your marriage then you may already have a good grasp on what it takes to run the household. But, if you’re the marriage partner who relies on your spouse to manage the finances, you need to educate yourself about this extremely important area of your marriage.

Even if your marriage is on rock solid ground, there is absolutely no guarantee that disability, death or divorce won’t change your situation. You don’t have to take control of the finances until something requires that you do, but understanding your finances now will put you many steps ahead of financial disaster should the unforeseen happen.

If you’re considering divorce, make a comprehensive list of money in and money out as well as investment funds, retirement accounts, and any other financial aspects of your relationship. You’ll need everything in order to provide your attorney with an accurate picture of the financial value of your marriage.

Do you know where your money goes every week? A good way to understand just exactly what happens to your paycheck is to write down each and every expense, no matter how small or insignificant, over the course of a month. You might be very surprised!

It’s time to make a list of your regular expenses. Whether you do it in a journal, in a spreadsheet, or on several pieces of paper, list your monthly expenses for home, children, automobile, food, medical, personal, essentials. Perhaps your list would look something like this (and feel free to add, subtract, and make any other changes that are helpful to you):


Rent or Mortgage
Utility Payments
Upkeep and Repairs
Property Taxes
Furnishings and Appliances

Personal Needs

Eating Out
Personal Grooming
Laundry and Dry Cleaning
Newspapers, Books, Magazines
Recreation and Hobbies
Schooling, Training
Life and Medical Insurance


School Tuition
Lunch Money
Clothing, Grooming


Car Payments or Lease
Auto Repairs and Maintenance
Auto Insurance
Planes, Trains, Ships, Buses

Other Payments

Credit Cards
Retirement or Pension Fund
Savings Account
Charitable Contributions
Other Debt