Money issues tend to be the number one reason behind relationship problems and divorce. The fact is that many couples want to sweep the subject under the rug rather than meeting this important subject head on. But if more couples learned how to work together to reach a common understanding of their individual financial personalities, there would be less conflict when it comes to budgeting, spending, and saving.
Unfortunately many couples think that leaving their financial baggage at the door is the answer to avoiding conflict. But the reality is that couples need to be open and honest with one another regarding their money personalities and spending habits. Saving these issues for marriage will only open a wound that could have been healed long ago, causing trust issues and ultimately break ups.
The good news is that if you communicate early on, money problems don’t have to develop into a major relationship hurdle. In fact, the more you and your partner communicate about ‘scary’ subjects such as finances, the closer you will become. Learning how to work together to resolve money problems and save for a promising future will only strengthen your partnership for the long haul.
Approach the subject of finances with an open mind and the realization that you both may have been brought up with different views on how money should be handled. Below are 5 simple tips to effectively address financial issues before they become unbearable:
- Lay it all out in the open – it’s important to show your partner just how much money you are responsible for. A successful relationship won’t thrive on secrets so don’t be afraid to bring out your credit card and loan statements.
- Determine who will manage money –often times, there is one person in every relationship that is better at dealing with money. This person should be designated the relationship “banker”.
- Set spending limits – decide together on an amount you can each spend without having to consult the other. If a purchase is over $400, for example, then you will have to make a joint decision.
- Create a backup fund – decide to set aside 10% from each of your pay checks every month in case of an emergency.
- Discuss future financial setbacks – it’s important to discuss whether one partner will stay home after the birth of a child. Or what will happen should someone lose their job. Always communicate about possibilities so you are ready for whatever setback or life change may come your way.