Do money worries affect your relationship? Whether you are a family member on a home budget for balance, cohabitation or in the early heat of romance, money can be a contentious topic between partners.
“The rising cost of living and the financial stress that comes with it will inevitably test people’s relationships, whether or not they have different views on money treatment,” says famous therapist and best-selling author Marisa Beer. (marisapeer.com).
“Money is the number one reason couples quarrel, so any extra issues that add to the existing stress can make it worse – and mean throwing things at their loved ones.
“For couples who are opposite poles when it comes to money, it can lead to a serious strain on things if they do not learn how to solve problems, allowing them to cover every aspect of their lives together,” he adds. Beer.
Here are some expert tips …
According to Jeremy Helm, a financial analyst at Modern World Business Solutions (mwbsolutions.co.uk), financial relationship problems “almost always” stem from “lack of communication and inability to cope.” Not everyone grows up talking about money and may feel embarrassed or emotionally untouchable – but it is important to build that habit.
“When each party is left in the dark about income or expenses, or when one party is riddled with all the financial problems, it can be difficult for the other party to really understand the situation they are in,” says Helm. . “While this may make them feel better temporarily, without having to discuss it, it would ruin their emotional state and would not be good for their mental health.”
“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about money,” Beer says. However, it is essential to set financial limits on the couple and set regular times to review expenses and income versus future savings and expenses. It sounds boring, but going through those bank statements and bills will relieve stress and can actually be a connecting experience. ”
How do these conversations go without escalating issues? Avoid any blaming language, such as, ‘You spend too much’, or words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, which tend to be sexy and uncomfortable, says Dr. Elena Toroni, co-founder of the Chelsea Psychological Clinic (thechelseapsychologyclinic.com). helpful.
“Criticism and guilt are two ways to live in a relationship that can have a very damaging effect,” she adds. “Focus on using ‘I’ statements where you can, such as ‘I’m worried about how much money we’re spending and would like to talk about it.’
Pierre’s next piece of advice? “Do not keep secrets about money or spending concerns from each other. “Honesty is always the best policy, so if something worries you, talk to your partner right away and look at ways to cut corners.”
“Agree on what luxury is and what is essential. It is also worth discussing worst-case scenarios, such as what you would do if you lost your home – realizing that there is a way to deal with all your fears that will keep them from you. keep awake at night. “
Helm says debt and how to deal with incoming costs is another thing people may want to hide from their partners – because they “do not want to look at their finances and try to figure out how they are paying” all their expenses, so they will bury him. ”But it often makes them express frustration or anger elsewhere,” he notes.
“I recommend you face your demons; Sit down, calculate all your disposable income and money, and decide exactly what to pay for and on what date. “Once you get the costs under control, a lot of stress will go away.”
Peers believe, “Most of the spending debate happens because one person has the responsibility to manage the family finances. This can lead to misunderstanding and mistrust and also feel like a burden to the administrator. It is much better to work on everything in the couple, so it is transparent and both persons take responsibility.
“It also means that couples think about their spending from a shared perspective, and since they are both aware of the financial situation, there is much less potential for accusations or accusatory behavior.”
Maintaining a degree of financial independence is always important – no matter how secure you feel in the relationship, or whether one partner is “better” or more secure with money. But the way you treat money together is also part of the picture.
Beer suggests that “having a joint bank account and agreeing on how much to spend on non-essentials each month can also help defuse controversy.” “It gives both people the freedom to buy something they want, but by sticking to a budget, that means there are no bad surprises when the next bank statement arrives.”
4. Remember to enjoy life
No matter how close things get, happy relationships need constant TLC – “Remember to leave room for activities that will unite you and also give you a sense of fun and well-being,” says Toroni. “It’s even more important to stay connected in difficult times.”
“Creating ideas for a date night or a day out on a budget can actually be a great way for a family or couple to end a regular financial discussion with a lot of interest,” says Beer. Having a picnic in a park, cooking together, or finding free on-site events can be just as much fun as a wealthy activity.
“In fact, when people look forward to an expensive restaurant or theme park, it can lead to disappointment if it does not live up to their expectations. Simple pleasures are often the most enjoyable. ”
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