Financial stress is the one of the top reasons for tension, arguments, strain and even break-ups in relationships. This is a guide complete with practical ways to reduce, dare I say help to eliminate financial stress in your relationship.
In relationships each person often has competing values, beliefs and thoughts around money hence, trying to manage money together can be a trying exercise without the right strategies.
Before we begin, it is important to remember that no one has ever taught us how to manage money as a couple.
This is not your fault!
But now it is time to get educated on the topic.
Let me tell you a little story;
Paul and Jessica were constantly fighting about money.
Everything that was once good about their relationship no longer existed because they couldn’t get past the fact that Jessica was saving every dime and wouldn’t spend a cent.
While Paul was spending every dollar as he figured why not? I might as well live well today as who knows what happens tomorrow.
Plus, I worked darn hard for that money; I might as well enjoy it.
Hands up if you have heard kind of scenario before.
It is all too common.
Jessica was raised with parents who spent nothing, didn’t buy anything new and saved as much as possible, ‘as you never know how much money you will need for a rainy day’.
Paul had parents who lived on loans, credit cards and spent everything they could. They often went to fancy meals, had beautiful cars, and played the juggling game with money.
Is any one family wrong or right? No.
Perhaps both sides are a little too far either way on the spectrum.
The point is this was Paul and Jessica’s money blueprint.
You will have a money blueprint too.
A money belief system.
And a money value system (essentially, you spend the most on what you value the most).
If you value your health then you would spend on good healthy food or supplements.
If you value your car; you will pay money to get it washed and cleaned weekly, for example.
It is so important to understand your partner’s money blueprint (or money story) this way; you can see why they spend the way they do and what they were taught around money.
Try this (ask your partner the following questions; you answer them too and start a dialogue around money);
- Ask your partner how your parents managed their money?
- Ask your partner whether there was a lot of money when you were young. Did your parents save or spend a lot?
- What do you value the most in your life?
- What do you believe is the purpose of money?
This is a good starting point; it is essential to have honest and open conversations and consider where your partner is coming from.
After, you can discuss how you would like to manage money together.
2 finance hacks to get your relationship finances back on track;
– Agree to consult your partner before you spend over $200 on an item or $500 (you choose the amount- just agree on the amount it could be 10k it just depends on you budget/income and/or savings goals .
– Have an account each with some fun money that you can spend on whatever you would like guilt-free. For example, it could be $50 a week each, and it’s up to you what you do with it. This gives you some financial freedom each.
The two simple ideas above just the start.
These are just some of the ways couples have avoided many arguments and disagreements and had some leeway and fun built into their finances. Hence, they feel like they can purchase things they value as we don’t often have the same highest spending value as our partner.
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