Relationship conflicts can often arise from financial issues such as overwhelming consumer debt. Therefore it is important to understand the ways money matters in a relationship.
Ways Money Matters in a Relationship
With consistent financial issues being the top predictor of divorce, here are three ways money matters in a relationship:
- Credit – To begin with, if you or your partner has bad credit, it is difficult to pay off debt. Therefore, it is best to have the discussion on finances sooner rather than later. This way you can work together on eliminating potential financial challenges such as qualifying for larger purchases such as a car or a house. You can also come up with a better financial strategy to get out of debt.
- Money Management – Couples with good money management skills know how to live within their means. By determining a comfortable budget, couples can reduce arguments related to finances and who spends what on various items. You can get a head start on creating your combined budget using ACCC’s household budgeting worksheet.
- Financial Beliefs – When it comes to money, everyone’s beliefs are different. Often times couples’ financial beliefs can differ depending on their family backgrounds and socioeconomic histories. Some believe using money to show status is most important whereas others believe using money as a sense of security is best. When in a relationship, the trick is for couples to regularly discuss their financial beliefs. This way, they can be on the same page when it comes to budgeting, spending, and other major financial issues or decisions that invariably arise.
Money Matters in Big Relationship Financial Decisions
As you enter into a partnership, it is important that you are clear of the following financial decisions:
- Combining or not combining finances. You can choose either direction depending on your financial situation. The important thing is to know what portions of the financial responsibility belong to you and which ones are combined. Not having clarity can result in over paying or under paying your dues. This can result in much larger financial issues like bad credit or undue debts.
- Unclear as to who will manage which financial responsibilities. Between the mortgage, medical expenses, cell phone bill and utilities, there could be many payments that need to be accounted for. Who will take care of what?
- Not having a realistic budget. Not having a realistic budget to keep track is a serious financial flaw. This can result in you dipping into your savings, college funds, retirement or emergency funds unnecessarily.
- Unaware of each other’s debts. This can turn into a larger financial mistake in a relationship. Not knowing enough details about any student loans or credit card debt you may have carried into the partnership can result in major strain on your financials as well as your relationship.
- Disagreements on your do’s & don’t s. You have to have consensus on simpler things in life, such as when you want to eat out, budgets for gifting for special occasions, and other spending decisions. The absence of agreement leads to major stress on the health of your financials and relationship.