Fighting about finances is one of the biggest problems for couples. Here are some ways to cope with difference in attitudes about money.
When you and your partner have different views about money and spending habits, it can put a lot of strain on the relationship and is even a leading cause for divorce. This problem is exacerbated when one of the partners is out of work or looking for a new job.
The combination of less money and the stress of a job search can make minor problems turn into large ones. With couples who haven't been together long, they may be surprised to find that their partner is heavily in debt and doesn't have an emergency fund to get through these types of setbacks.
If you and your partner have different money styles or find yourself fighting about money too often, here are 5 tips to help you both get on the same page.
Be honest about your situation – Don't feel pressured to buy things you can't afford or to hide your financial situation. Many people are blinded by pride and don't want to admit that they can't afford a purchase or a lifestyle. If you aren't able to talk honestly about money with the person you are sharing your life with, either you don't trust them as much as you think you do, or you are just not being honest with yourself about your situation.
Don't nag or add pressure – This one is really hard, but the truth is that no one likes to have their past mistakes thrown in their faces over and over again. Everyone has made mistakes and used them to learn from. Even if your partners behavior concerns you, becoming the nag or the person who is first in line to make them feel bad about it doesn't help the problem, it just shuts your partner down.
Keep separate banking accounts - This is even more important for married couples. Typically, one partner has control of the family account, and the other one has to ask for permission to make certain types of purchases. This can be a good way to manage household funds, but it can make the partner who doesn't control the account feel less accountable. Budget a reasonable amount for each person to keep in their own account in addition to the joint account. Having money in your pocket and the ability to buy something small without having to ask or even talk about it, makes you feel like a real person.
Find the things you have in common – Even if you both have different styles of money management, there are bound to be things that you both can agree on. If you are a spender, and your partner is a saver, you probably still have other things that you can agree on.
Offer to help, in a non-judgmental way – If you are the more fiscally responsible partner, offer to help your partner with their finances. You can offer to help them save by depositing a certain amount from their paychecks into a savings account or helping them set financial goals can make things easier. Remember that you are both on the same team, so be sure to treat your partner with honesty, respect and dignity when you try to help them. Ridiculing them or making them feel bad about the situation doesn't build team morale.
Do you and your partner have different money styles? What did you do to make it easier? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for Administrativejobsblog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.