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© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


All families have assets. Strengthening them is critical for a healthy family life. This NebGuide presents several opportunities for doing that.

The Family Relationship Bank Account

Successful family living requires two bank accounts: a financial account, which allows the purchase of goods and services, and a relationship account, which promotes sustainability, bonding and togetherness. When assets are many and the account balance is large, there is enough "money" to meet the relational demands that exist between couples, the family demands of raising children and the social demands of living in a community. At other times, when withdrawals are high, or deposits are low, the "relationship" account may become very depleted, leaving little "relationship money" to spend when needed.

The relationship bank account metaphor instructs the family to make deposits on a regular basis to increase asset reserves. Like the financial bank account, the balance in the family relationship bank account is constantly changing with its inputs and outflows. Like the financial account, if the family relationship account is consistently overdrawn because its debits are greater than its assets, family bankruptcy may be on the horizon.