Money and finance differences are some of the biggest factors causing arguments between couples. In fact, money issues are the number one reason why couples fight, and over one-third of couples claim money issues are the major source of conflict in their relationship. But just because you and your partner might have differences in opinions about money, it doesn’t mean those differences need to lead to heated arguments. This article will help you navigate those differences and work out amicable solutions.
Early conversation on opinions about money
As often is the case with young couples, there are plenty of conversations about the future. Marriage, jobs, goals, and children all seem to be discussed, but for some reason money is often left out of the equation until later in the relationship. By this time couples are often set in their ways. It’s recommended to have serious conversations about money before marriage or cohabitation. Some questions or talking points to discuss about may include:
- What are your financial goals?
- Investing and saving for the future
- Spending habits
Opening up about some of these topics can set you on a path for a financially stable future.
Make financial decisions together
Just like other aspects of relationships, conflict often arises when one partner makes decisions without the other’s input. This is particularly true with finances.
Keep in mind that this can sometimes be difficult. Why? Because money is used for everything. It becomes easy to spend without much thought. But try your best to discuss even the smallest purchases with your partner.
Try a spending plan
A spending plan allows both you and your partner to visualize your finances. It gives you both accountability when it comes to your money. Take some time to figure out how much you spend each month and what is your combined income. Now is the time to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to spending habits. Hold each other accountable to the plan you created as a team.
Set a schedule
There is nothing more frustrating than missing important payments on bills. It’s embarrassing when the bank or landlord keeps calling about late mortgage payments or rent. Sometimes one partner feels like they are the one who remembers the due dates while the other neglects them.
One good way to avoid conflicts about missed payments is to set up a payment schedule. With today’s technology it’s easier than ever. Set up notifications on Google Calendar, or schedule automatic bill payments either through your bank or your lender.
Also, use these scheduled sessions to address your financial needs, worries, and expectations.
Seek professional advice on opinions about money
Even if you are just beginning to save for the future, speaking with a professional financial planner can help you navigate your spending and saving habits. Not only does a professional have insights that you don’t; an unbiased and objective voice can help lead you to correct strategic financial decisions without arguments with your partner.
If you are still struggling to discuss your finances and it’s causing conflict in your relationship, consider talking with a licensed therapist. A professional relationship counselor has the skills needed to improve your communication not only about money, but other aspects of your relationship, too.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach
What works financially for one couple might not be the correct approach for your relationship. Some couples create joint financial accounts, while others keep things separate and split everything 50/50. There is no right or wrong way to manage your money. The important thing is to find something that best works for your relationship dynamic.
Honesty is key
Many conflicts about money stem from lying. With your finances, honesty is a must. Make sure your partner knows about all of your expenditures. Remember, withholding information about your spending habits isn’t being honest. It is unhealthy for your relationship.
Keeping track of finances isn’t easy. There will be plenty of mistakes along the way. But when you do make a mistake, be honest about it and head off conflicts before they begin.
Money will always be a stressor in any relationship. But differences in opinions about how money is handled don’t have to break your relationship. There are plenty of strategies to improve your financial differences in ways that are best for your relationship. Try some of the ideas from this article, or sit down with your partner and communicate the best plan for you.