Money relationship problems? One of the biggest issues in relationships, marriage or otherwise, seems to be money.
Money can lead to any number of arguments, resentments, and problems.
It is something we often tie to our identity and emotion, and thus it leads to more extreme reactions than other aspects of a relationship may.
Here are some tips for fixing money problems in your relationships and avoiding them all together:
How can money affect relationships?
Money is cited as one of the leading reasons for divorce. And you can bet it’s also high on the list of non-marital relationship breakdowns. There are many ways money can affect relationships negatively, including:
- Losing your home
- Debt recovery action
- Losing your job
In order to avoid a relationship breakdown and ensure that you are not going to struggle financially, you need to take active steps. Never presume things will work out without you taking action.
How to fix money relationship problems
Tip one: Honesty
It is a good idea, to be honest about your financial position.
If you are not doing well financially, or you have had some setbacks at work or something, it is better to be open with your partner and work together to overcome the problem, then hide it and try to maintain the same lifestyle with reduced income.
Honesty really is the best policy.
Money imbalances in relationships cause stress, especially when they are hidden from a partner. Being honest with your partner allows them to help you deal with financial problems.
Let them help you by opening up and being honest.
Tip two: Talk money when you’re calm
Because money tends to be a highly emotional subject, avoid discussing it if you are already fighting.
It’s also a good idea to avoid being tired after a long week. Friday night money chats do not usually end well, believe me!
Instead, set aside time that is both convenient and appropriate for both of you to discuss your finances and any issues related to them.
If you plan the time in advance then you both know it’s going to happen and can be emotionally prepared.
Tip three: Work together
One of the hardest things to handle when it comes to money relationship problems is the different perspectives on how your finances should be handled. Especially if one person is a saver and another a spender.
There are pros and cons to every money outlook.
Instead of trying to prove one another wrong or sway your partner to your way of thinking, work together to find balance and teach one another, taking the pros from one another’s money philosophies and avoiding the cons together.
Tip four: Don’t hide income or debt
Being dishonest about your finances can be a huge breach of trust.
Discuss your finances openly and honestly, and frequently, showing credit reports, bank statements, debts, investments, etc., to one another.
If you are marrying someone with no money you want to do so with your eyes wide open. You can cope with almost everything as long as you know.
Help each other understand and have a clear picture of where you stand and they stand financially.
Tip five: Don’t blame
It is easy to start pointing the finger at one another when you have financial problems:
- “If only you would not spend so much”
- “If only you would work more hours…”
- “Why haven’t you found a better job?”
however, this never helps, it only hurts the other person and likely leads to more money relationship problems like resentment and anger.
For all your money chats adopt a “no shame, no blame” approach. One of you will likely be better at sticking exactly to your budget than the other. You want both of you to be signed up to your finances so laying blame will not help.
Instead, why not recognize an area where you personally can do better and work on it. You can also help your partner by showing them how you make things work.
Your partner could easily pick up a few tips from you, without ever feeling pressure.
Related reading: 7 steps to Stop Financial Problems in Marriage
Tip six: Work together to create a budget
Setting money goals and working together to stick with a strict budget can really help your relationship money problems disappear.
Tip seven: Be clear about who will handle what
Nothing stinks worse than having your lights shut off because you thought your partner paid the bill and your partner thought you did.
It is good to have everyone involved in the finances; just be sure the roles and responsibilities are clear so that bills get paid.
Better still, get as many of your bills on auto payment so you can set it and forget it every month.
Tip eight: Enjoy a little financial independence
When you “share” money as you may in a marriage, it is important to also have some financial independence.
A great way to do this is simply to set aside some discretionary income each month for both partners to spend as they see fit.
I call this guilt free fun money. No matter how tight your budget is, to keep money relationship problems from appearing or escalating, you need to know you can buy a coffee occasionally without feeling guilty.
Believe me, even just $50 a month each can make a huge difference to how you both feel about sticking to your budget and working toward your money goals.
Tip nine: Set money goals together
Setting money goals together as a couple is a great way to keep money strife at bay. With joint plans for your money you are both invested in making them a reality.
But don’t stop at joint goals. Set them for yourself as an individual too. Perhaps you want to save up for something special that would be you alone, like a new bike, new golf clubs or some other individual thing.
Tip ten: Make sure you have the same financial expectations
For example, if you want to be generous with gifts, make sure your partner is on the same page as you.
The last thing you need in the run up to a busy Christmas is money issues about how much is being spent on the holiday season.
One of you might be happy to carry ongoing debt while the other wants it paid off as soon as possible. These are things to discuss calmly during your money chats.
It’s amazing how over a few weeks or months the two of you will find ways to come closer together with your expectations.
Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.
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