You’ve probably heard it before but I’m here to say it again. Bickering over money is ranked as the number one reason the majority of couples fight within their relationships and marriage. To be honest, this statistic does not surprise me at all. Whether it’s fighting over how to spend money or how to manage personal debt, finances play a big role is the fighting between couples. Don’t let fighting about money break down your relationship or marriage. Let’s take a closer look at what we can do to avoid relationship destruction.
Back to the Basics
Like a conflict during football season, going back to the basics usually solves your problem. Same thing goes with relationships and bouts about money. Who’s in charge of managing the finances? Who’s in charge of budgeting? Who spends the most and who wants to save for something big? These are questions that any couple needs to consider when resolving conflicts about money. Get back to the basics and find common ground.
A tip I’ve been given from mentors in my own life is to throw away all preconceived notions given to you by family and friends. Your relationship becomes your new “family” and you get to set the rules. Don’t let past experiences decipher what is the rule of law within your personal finance life.
Ground Rules Need to be Set
I recommend that couples talk about finances at the very beginning of their dating lives. However, some people wait until their honeymoon. Which ever case may be, talking about finances and getting the conversation started is often times the biggest battle.
If you’re a newly married couple, you need to lay some ground rules. These ground rules will help the two of you better communicate and avoid any unnecessary conflict. Sit down and decide how the two of you will manage money and how money will be spent. This is where a budgeting tool like Mint.com comes in. For many couples, seeing their money visually helps a lot. I happen to love visual pie charts myself!
Don’t try to hide spending habits. Get everything out into the open and take charge of the situation. Lying about something now will just come up again later down the road. It’s not worth it. If one person in the relationship loves going out to Starbucks and the other likes buying expensive meat at the grocery store, talk it out an decide whether or not these types of items are affordable.
Compromise or Else
Sometimes, a compromise will be your resolution. As a couple, you need to find common ground and resolve the conflict. This is where a budget comes in. Seeing the money on paper can provide a common vision for a couple and move things forward with what’s important when it comes to spending money.
At the end of the day, you might never come to a compromise. In this case, the worst thing to do is to give up. Seek out counseling and and keep the conversation going. Letting things stall could wreck havoc on your relationship. Fighting about money is just flat out not worth it. Seek out people that have been around the block a few times. Chances are there are countless people waiting to share their wisdom with you.
Relationship Building Through Finances
Treat money like a strength building tool for your relationship. Like in life, doing things together and seeing a goal conquered will bring the two of you together. Don’t let a conflict go to waste. Use it as a time to work out kinks in your relationship and grow stronger together. Work as a team and you will soon find yourself conquering other goals on your list!
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About the Author: Jon the Saver is a personal finance writer at Free Money Wisdom. His mission is to help you succeed in your personal finance life. When Jon is not writing on personal finance, he spends time with his girlfriend, lifts iron at the gym, and plays Scrabble.