Money Matters: Strengthening Finances and Marriage Simultaneously | News, Sports, Jobs
In a survey of divorced couples, 36.1% of respondents said financial problems contributed to the breakdown of the marriage insider. Some participants said their money issues were not “the most relevant reason for divorce” and instead “contributed[d] to increased stress and tension in the relationship.” In other words, how you manage stress and tension around money can be as important to your relationship as the money itself.
When you and your partner or spouse are facing financial difficulties, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid too much stress and tension. Understand why couples fight over money, learn how to talk about money, and adopt some simple habits. These steps will strengthen your relationship and your financial situation at the same time.
Why do couples fight over money?
Before we delve into how to talk about money, it’s important to understand the context of these discussions. In other words, what are the sources of tension that can accompany these discussions? What might your spouse be stressed about? According to bestselling author and financial expert Rachel Cruzethere are three main reasons why couples fight over money:
- Debt and resentment: “Maybe a person has a bunch of student loans or credit card debt. The other person may resent having to pay for their spouse’s past mistakes.”
- Salary differences and guilt: “If a spouse brings in less or no income, they may feel guilty for spending money. Or the higher earner feels superior.”
- Different money tendencies: “If your spouse is a natural saver, saving money for a rainy day gives them a sense of security. On the other hand, a natural donor has many creative ideas about what to use that money for.”
If any of these problems persist, it can lead to a serious problem. But if you stop and talk about it, you can discover the underlying issue causing the disagreement and come out stronger on the other side.
It’s important in marriage to remember that hard times are a part of life and don’t have to be a bad thing!
“When conflicts arise, keep that in mind heavy does not mean Poorly helps keep things in context,” he said Peter Ord, a married entrepreneur and founder of Draper-based GuideCX. “We’re not upset because something about our marriage was difficult; We realize this is just part of the experience and we can move on and enjoy the happy parts.”
How to talk about money
In order to successfully talk about the logistics of money, understanding the emotional aspects is crucial. Both you and your spouse need to know where the other is from, how they feel about money, and what their expectations are. This is more than a one-off discussion, it is a topic that you should revisit regularly in a series of conversations.
Here are some questions you can answer yourself and then discuss with your spouse: What did money mean to my family growing up? What is my biggest financial fear? What is my biggest financial dream for us as a couple? What is my perspective on charitable donations? How should we react if one of us makes a financial mistake?
Once you’ve explored your emotions around money, it’s more effective to talk about the nuts and bolts. Set your monthly budget, savings goals and financial priorities together. Talk about it too contingencies: What will we do if an extended family member asks us for help with financial problems? Will we split bills? What happens if one of us changes jobs and our income changes?
The financial habits that bring you closer as a couple
While bad financial habits can strain relationships, Well Financial habits can bring you closer together. These habits don’t require any special training or advanced financial knowledge, but they do require some time and dedication. Here are just five key financial habits for couples suggested by Debra Pangestu MyMoneyCoach:
- Make regular appointments to talk about money: Just like you have a regular appointment at the dentist or hairdresser, add regular appointments to your calendar to discuss your finances.
- Discuss your money history: Be sure to include the emotions behind money as part of your financial discussions.
- Set financial goals together: Pick a financial dream that you both want to achieve and break it down into achievable, short-term goals.
- Implement a budget that suits you: No matter who takes home the bigger paycheck, you both need to be equal partners with equal say in money management.
- Allow money autonomy: “Giving each partner a set amount of ‘I-money’ can do wonders for alleviating the constant fight over money,” Pangestu said.
As a couple, you can take proactive steps to de-stress your finances. By understanding why couples fight over money, learning how to talk about money, and adopting some simple habits, you can strengthen both your relationship and your financial situation.