It’s no secret that dealing with money issues in relationships can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are some effective approaches, or skills, that you may use to keep both your financial house in order and your relationship with your partner or spouse in good shape.
According to a report in Money, your love life can benefit from the following four common strategies for dealing with financial matters:
- Consider past experiences. It’s common for people to get their ideas about money and finances from their parents. So Money recommends that you talk to your partner about your parents’ relationship with money. That way, your partner will better understand your thought processes and, hopefully, respond in a more effective way if money conflicts arise. Of course, having a basic understanding of your partner’s upbringing and past can also be beneficial in dealing with other relationship issues.
- Embrace a little space. Relationship experts Jon and Beverly Meyerson told Money that they recommend partners keep separate bank accounts,. Doing so allows each partner to have some financial independence and responsibility. But the Meyersons also encourage couples to have a joint bank account, which can be used for vacations and other “splurges.” I think it goes without saying that this advice – having some separation – is invaluable in other aspects of the relationship as well. “You should have something you do together that you both enjoy, but don’t force your partner to pretend to care about scrapbooking or fantasy football just because you’re into it,” the report said.
- Communicate — often and openly. No matter what you’re discussing — whether it be money, raising kids or marital intimacy — stay calm. Talking “in a rational way without expressing judgment about your partner’s opinion — even if you disagree — is the best way to work through challenges without fostering resentment or letting hurt feelings build up,” Money explains. Some experts recommend scheduling a regular time — such as once a month — to discuss finances, plan for the future or solve problems. A regularly scheduled meeting doesn’t evoke that “crap, there must be something wrong” feeling that sometimes surfaces when an ad hoc “talk” is proposed. For more tips on approaching financial topics, check out “How to Talk Money With Your Spouse.”
- Get organized. If you’re swamped in debt, financial experts recommend that you get organized, set a budget, prioritize your debts and other expenditures, decide where you can slash your expenses, and then start paying down your debt. “While not everything is as cut-and-dried as dollars, the more organization and clear parameters you can throw at any relationship challenge, the better,” Money says.
Do you think talking about your love life can benefit your finances, and vice versa? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.