Managing Money in a Relationship

Studies have found that money issues end more relationships than cheating.

Being on the same page about money and finances is so important in a committed relationship. Frank and open communication can make all the difference between happiness and despair. Don’t forget that none of us are perfect in our spending habits, but with a little compassion and wisdom, we can still make sound decisions. Here are a few tips on how to approach the subject of money in a relationship, so that both people are happy and feel heard.

The most important idea to guide money communication is honesty. It is never too late to be honest about where your money is going. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to account for every coffee, or stationary item bought, but both parties have the right to know what amounts of money are being spent over time. This prevents misunderstandings and the temptation to ‘hide’ purchases from one another.

The next key point is planning. It is vital to have regular meetings about money. This means that both people are aware of what bills are due, what money is available and no-one feels like they are being left out of the loop. From here you can plan ahead and be in control of what is spent. Be wise though, choose low-stress times when no-one is tired, and neither person is feeling sensitive about other issues.

There is no problem with one person being in charge of the bill paying — it might even be easier that way. However, this only works if the other partner feels they can have access to the information, and enough spending money, when it is needed.

Talk in detail about all big purchases before you make them. Weigh up the positives and negatives of the item before jumping in. Try to be accountable to one another, but also be loving at the same time.  If the purchase promises to be helpful or important to your partner, and you can afford it, then it might be worth agreeing to. When it is your turn to need something, they will hopefully take the same attitude. Don’t forget though, if you cannot afford something then don’t buy it. There are usually cheaper options, consider borrowing or buying second hand.

Have savings or re-payment goals that you both agree on. These can be short term or long term goals, but it is so much easier to achieve them when you are working together. It may even bring you closer as a couple.

The last important tip is to approach every conversation about money with a smile and a positive attitude. We all have bills, and most of us have loans and credit cards, but we can still lower the stress levels and seriousness of the money conversation this way.

Talking about money is not always easy, but by being honest, caring and positive with your partner, you can set your relationship on the right track. Be wise with your purchases, as well as considerate. If you are working towards the same goal, you are more likely to achieve it and avoid unnecessary arguments. – L. Sutherland