There are lots of things for couples to fight about. Who chucks the wet towels on the bed and forgets about them, who never empties the dishwasher… But while most minor gripes are relatively easy to resolve, fights about money can be another question altogether.
Finances – and how you deal with them – are one of the most common sources of serious disagreements for couples.
If you and your partner have different money personalities, it can be hard to work out a way forward. A committed spender may find it hard to understand the reserve of a die-hard saver.
Here are six tips to get you started on your path to finding common ground.
Sit down with your partner for a frank assessment of your situation. Be frank about your individual approaches to money. Talk openly about your money beliefs and your expectations for the future.
Why do you think you behave the way you do? Why is your approach important to you? All of this background information can help each of you to understand the other.
Everyone can strive to do better with their management of money, but creating new habits – especially when the old ones have been developed over an entire lifetime – can be challenging. So instead of aiming for huge changes, you may have better chances of success if you meet in the middle.
Once you have acknowledged your different approaches, set out a plan of what you’d like to achieve financially as a couple. When you agree to it, you can work back to set some goals for each of you.
That might mean that you commit to a certain amount of savings each month – but also allocate some spending money so that neither of you feel they are making too much of a sacrifice.
When you have a very different approach to your partner, it can be easy to focus on the ways that you are out of sync rather than the things you have in common. Work out what unites you – your joint goals, the things you value in life – and use that as a basis for your discussions about money.
If you’re trying to make big money decisions and you can’t agree, turn to a trusted third-party to help. Someone who isn’t closely involved may be better placed to help you find a solution.
When you know each other well and understand how you each think, you’ll be able to predict the situations that are likely to spark tension. Identify them well before they occur – and before either of you is emotionally invested – and work together to devise a strategy to navigate them.
We’re not relationship counsellors but we are great at helping people manage their money better. Get in touch today to talk about your financial goals and we’ll do everything we can to help you achieve them.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.