Couples fight about many things, but money is often somewhere near the top of the list. Check out this article for a few tips on how to keep financial issues from causing tension in your relationship.
Fighting about money can be extremely bad for your relationship. As a matter of fact, differences in money management styles between two partners can actually ruin a marriage. When one of you is a spender and the other one a saver, tension is bound to show its ugly head at some point or another. The spender will likely advocate for you to splurge on fancy dinners and weekends away, while the saver will argue that money is an invaluable commodity and you two should set aside as much as you can in order to be more secure financially.
Even when you’re both on the same page, money issues can escalate quickly. Impulse purchases, rash money decisions, the inability to reach a compromise when it comes to paving your financial future – all these problems can take a serious toll on your partnership. In order to get pass them, you need to openly communicate about your money troubles and strive to find a solution to deal with them that you’ll both be comfortable with. In order to help, we’ve gathered some advice that might come in handy along the way.
Talk about finances from early on
Ideally, you should find easy ways to chat about financial priorities early in every relationship. You can bring up the subject casually, without making it sound like an interrogation. For instance, if you’re looking to make an investment, ask your partner for input. Talk about how you see your future, and ask them to share their view as well. Do they want to buy a home at some point? Are they already saving for that? Have they thought about retirement? All these questions are extremely important, as the answers will allow you to determine what your partner’s views on finances are.
Additionally, you can closely observe their behavior to get a feel on how they deal with money. Are they always choosing the cheapest option on the menu when you go to a restaurant? Do they prefer to watch a movie with you at home instead of going out? Or maybe they are always suggesting you splurge on fancy activities you can enjoy together? All these little things can tell a lot about how a person deals with money.
Manage money together
If you are the only one who manages the money, your partner is entitled to feel left out, and issues are sure to arise. Instead of continuing to demand sole control of your finances, consider sitting down with your significant other once a month and assessing your current financial situation.
You can see where you stand, budget together, and pay the bills. This way, your significant other will be in the loop as well and they’ll know how much money they’ll be able to spend and where they should cut expenses. Use this opportunity to decide together on where your money goes and remove any resentment from the equation.
Settle on a budget for personal expenses
It’s normal for each of you to want to spend some money on yourself every month without having to answer for every penny. Some degree of financial independence can actually improve a relationship, so consider budgeting a certain amount of money per month for personal shopping, for the both of you. As long as neither spends more than previously decided, they shouldn’t be questioned by the other on where the money went.
Another option would be that both of you keep small, separate bank accounts to finance personal expenses or gift purchases. After all, we now live in a world where you can get an online bank account in a matter of seconds. As long as both partners find the idea appealing, it can be a smart way to avoid issues that come from having different financial styles.
Plan for the future
If your partner’s the spender in the couple, it can be a struggle to make them understand the big picture. An expensive purchase may make them happy momentarily, but a substantial emergency fund can provide a safety net for months to come. In order to explain why saving is so important, sit them down and talk about how both of you see the future.
Do you want to buy a new car sometime soon? You may have to live more frugally for a couple of months in order to afford it. Do you both want to travel after retirement? You’ll have to set enough money aside until then if you want to make your dream come true. The more specific you are, the better the chance your significant other will get where you’re coming from and make an effort to adjust their spending habits.
When you discuss money troubles with your significant other, it’s crucial to keep an open mind. Don’t start to place blame or insult your partner. Remember that their outlook on money may indeed have just as much validity as your own, so don’t immediately dismiss their point of view. Show your commitment to the relationship by having an open and honest conversation about money management. You’ll surely find a middle ground to satisfy you both.