Money. Moola. Cash. Cheddar. Whatever you call it, money is serious business and a hot topic for lots of couples. A 2013 study found that, disagreements about money are one of the leading causes of divorce. The study also found that it takes a couple longer to recover from a fight about finances than any other fight. So how do you safeguard your relationship against money related woes and get on same financial wavelength? Here a few tips to avoid money madness:
Don’t be afraid to talk about it.
If your credit is jacked up going into your relationship, it’ll affect the credit worthiness of your partner as well. It may be uncomfortable, but put it all out on the table. Discussing your financial history is just as important as discussing your sexual history.
Discover your money styles.
One cause of division is differences in your money styles. If one of you is a big spender and the other is a penny pincher find ways to meet in the middle. Talk about your spending habits (without judgment) and devise a plan to find the middle ground. If necessary, enlist the help of a financial advisor.
Being financially dependent on your spouse or having to answer to someone for every penny you spend can be frustrating to say the least. Each partner should have their own ‘do whatever you want’ money. Decide how much that amount is and work it into the budget.
Divide and conquer.
I’m a bargain hunter and Hubs is very much not so to keep the peace, I’m the one who researches and plans for our big ticket expenditures like a new car or a vacation. On the flip side, Hubs is more organized, so he makes sure the monthly bills are paid on time. Splitting up financial responsibilities ensures that neither partner is doing everything, and working with your strengths minimizes stress.
Sleep on it.
If you find yourselves having a disagreement about a financial decision, put the conversation on ice and come back to it later. Remember those vows? For richer or for poorer… Your relationship is what’s important here; not that yacht or trip to Rio (A girl can dream right?). Take some time to consider a compromise but don’t abandon the conversation altogether. After your break, talk it through until you’ve reached a solution that works for both of you.
When you know better…do better.
Many times, the answer to our money issues isn’t more money; it’s making better choices with the money we already have. Take some time to find out if you’re getting the best rates on the products/services you use (cable, phone, internet, etc.) and negotiate better rates where you can.
Talk about your big financial goals and write them down. Whether you want to pad your savings account, buy a house or take a tropical vacation, keeping the finish line in mind makes the race much easier. Create some inspiration with a vision board or other reminders of what you’re working toward.
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