Published on August 1, 2014
As a couple, you discuss everything from household budget to investments, movie dates to electricity bills to even money spent on groceries.
However, money matters influence all aspects of life, especially between partners. Discussions on money matters come up so frequently that it is impossible to ignore this topic in any relationship. Couples deal with financial decisions throughout their life — from wedding plans to children’s education to retirement. Unfortunately, money is often the cause of disagreement, although it’s a common misconception that lack of money is the cause of problems.
Yes, there is no doubt that this money issue can be a ‘marriage killer’ if it’s not addressed by couples at an early stage. Couples should be open to each other about their financial status before tying the knot, because this will help them in settling debts, if there are any. It is also wise to set common financial goals in aspects of education, travel, entertainment, retirement, insurance and medical needs. Here are some tips to avoid misunderstandings:
KEEP THE COMMUNICATION LINES OPEN
Surprises are good for birthdays and anniversaries, but when it comes to financial matters, never surprise your partner. Shocking your partner with a high bill will lead to arguments and may make your partner feel betrayed. When you communicate, it allows you to understand your partner’s views on money. This will come in handy when you talk about investments.
NOTE DOWN PRIORITIES
Don’t be obsessed with perfection. Instead, set a time to discuss your dreams and aspirations with your partner. Knowing what matters to your partner will allow you to plan for each other’s priorities, rather than spending money on unnecessary things.
CREATE A BUDGET BOOK
Household budgets should reflect the needs of both partners. Therefore, it is best advised to have a joint plan in terms of all expenses. This will allow you to manage your cash better.
It’s true that even after marriage you still have your own likes and dislikes, but before making financial decisions it will be nice to ask your partner for his or her opinion. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you can use it on anything. Remember, every financial decision will affect your relation. Therefore, seek your partner’s views before making a move.
TREAT FAMILY FINANCES AS BUSINESSES
Don’t be too emotional. Instead, be rational when discussing money matters. Every discussion on finances may be sensitive, but it’s best to have some simple rules. For instance, do not discuss financial matters over dinner; keep your thoughts to yourself till the area is clear and you are with your partner alone. Discuss money matters in such a way that your partner doesn’t get offended. Based on your individual circumstances, build rules and make sure your ideas are mutually beneficial and acceptable.
Having these rules will allow you to communicate better and come up with decisions that will benefit you and your family in the long run.