Money is a major influence in our lives, and when two people come together in a relationship, disputes are bound to arise – it’s only natural. The problem really starts to simmer, though, when understanding and compromise are not reached. Here are 10 ways to find common ground in a money-troubled relationship.
1. Never Sweep Money Problems Under The Rug
It’s easy to avoid talking about the rent when you are three weeks away from it being due, but avoiding money matters only leads to pressure building in the relationship. Whatever you are facing, do it together, and be honest about what’s going on.
2. Work Cooperatively With Money
The two of you are equally responsible for your financial fitness as a couple: Make sure both of you know how to handle it, and that you take active roles in managing the household budget.
3. Focus on Your Financial Future, Not The Past
Even if either or both of you have past financial issues, don’t throw them around in current conversations. That simply raises the level of frustration and will create resentment on the part of the accused.
4. Set Realistic Goals You Both Want To Reach
Sure, it’s nice to dream about what “could be” someday, but if you keep your heads in the clouds all the time, you’re never going to get your feet on the ground. Be realistic with your goals, and be willing to start out small, such as saving a certain percentage of your earnings each week.
5. Live Beneath Your Means
Living beneath your means is one of the smartest financial moves you’ll ever make – and even some of the most famous billionaires on the planet still do it! In many cases, the only way for couples to get ahead is to spend like they’re actually making a lot less. This will reduce a lot of the financial stress in your relationship, too, just make sure you both adhere to the criteria you set.
6. Recognize the Differences You Have
Just like you discovered what your significant other’s favorite color or entree is, you need to discover their financial philosophies and how they came about. People think and act differently when it comes to money, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get along anyway. Ask each other questions, particularly about upbringing and how finances were handled then – that’s most likely where the philosophies and habits originated.
7. Set Up Automatic Payments And Deposits
If you are constantly disagreeing about who should be responsible for what and arguing over it not getting done in a timely matter, set up auto-banking. Your bills can automatically be paid, and a certain percentage of your deposits can go directly into savings: Problems solved!
8. Set and Adhere to Spending Limits
Even wasting pocket change can eventually add up to significant losses for you as a couple, meaning if one of you is spending frivolously, you’re inviting disagreement. Set an exact spending limit for nonessential items, thus, eliminating a major reason for arguments. If that limit is not exceeded, however, don’t question what was bought or the price that was paid, even if you don’t approve – that is simply being judgmental and overbearing.
9. Fix Small Problems Before They Get Out Of Hand
Take note of what you and your partner argue over; if you find yourselves in the same frustrating conversation over and over again, stop and find a solution. There’s likely a reason for the dispute, such as an underlying fear of not having enough money to pay the bills or being able to retire comfortably. Acknowledging the problem opens the door to solving it, while the alternative is to continue to argue over it.
10. Understand the Nature of Compromise
Since money is a leading issue couples face and one of the most common reasons for separation, you have to get this one right! Relationships succeed or fail based on the level of compromise involved, no matter what the issue. Compromise means letting go of fear and control, in order to give your partner a little breathing room; it means they forgive some of your financial misgivings in favor of working things out, and it means finding common ground on all issues, so you can build on your relationship, rather than finding ways of tearing it down.
Consider Reaching Out For Professional Help:
If the two of you simply cannot find common ground with money, or you find yourselves overwhelmed by debt and sabotaged by unscrupulous habits, it might be wise to seek help from a financial counselor. Professional intervention can solve two major problems: (1) The mishandling of money and (2) the strain money mismanagement puts on the relationship. Don’t make it a last resort type solution, because it could be too late at that point; recognize the growing problem, and face it head on, together, with a little professional help.
Money is important, but your relationship must come first in order for it to survive. Let money have its place, but don’t let it take over even when you have disputes. Accept the discord as a normal part of a healthy relationship, and work together to resolve the basic financial issues that would otherwise tear you apart.
About the Author
Brooks Allisen has had a successful career buying and selling gold and precious metal stocks and options for more than 15 years. This up and coming author discussing the six types of gold investors also has a popular website and provides valuable information about investing in gold. To learn more, visit buygold.mywebpal.com.