If you and your partner fight about finances, you are not alone. According to a recent study, financial disagreements are the primary cause of stress in relationships. In most relationships, one partner feels that the other spends too much or is too frugal.
That is why it is crucial to set aside time to discuss managing finances as a couple. Try having a “money date.” Set aside time—before a conflict arises—to discuss your spending habits and financial goals.
Want to know how to discuss money in a way that is productive and positive for your relationship? Here are some tips.
Plan money discussions before a conflict arises
If you confront your spouse the moment you see the credit card bill, and emotions are running high, this confrontation is bound to end up in a fight. Instead of dealing with the disagreement in the emotional moment, plan a regular time—once or twice a month—to discuss managing finances as a couple.
Create space to discuss emotions
Money can be a very emotional issue, and it’s important to acknowledge these emotions. Start by sharing your earliest memories of money, what you learned about finances from your family growing up, and your strengths and challenges.
Try not to start the conversation by talking numbers. In the context of a relationship, money can lead to power struggles and feelings of vulnerability or resentment. Do not blame or shame. When one person is taking, listen without interrupting. Validate how your partner feels and try to be open about your emotions as well.
Clarify your values
Money can be a vehicle to get to where you want to go in life. Therefore, it’s crucial to be on the same page about your larger life goals.
Where do you want your money to take you in 25 years? Does your significant other have the same vision?
One partner may want to over-save for retirement while the other partner may wish to set aside a budget for beauty and self-care. With regards to earning, saving, spending, and giving money, two people may have very different values about how to allocate funds. Clarifying your values and acknowledging the other’s can help prevent future disagreements and misunderstandings.
Once you decide how you want to spend your money, you will need to figure out how that is going to happen. How will you handle finances? Who will work and how much? Will you have a joint account or separate accounts? Who will pay the bills and keep track of numbers?
For many couples, having separate personal accounts and one account for shared expenses can help reduce arguments when there are different spending habits.
However you decide to manage your finances as a couple, having clarity and transparency can go a long way towards creating peace in the home.
If you find that money is causing tension and strife in your relationship, or if you want help figuring out how best to manage finances as a couple, contact Jennifer today. Jennifer can help you navigate financial tension and come up with a plan that suits both you and your partner.
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