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Most likely there was a time when love and money were probably NOT equal in your thoughts! Remember the fun of dating, meeting each other friends and discovering that “hey we have something special here”? Then the big decision to move in together, snuggling up in your own little love nest, watching your favourite movies, feeling in love and thinking how wonderful life is.
Soon though reality will creep in to your perfect world, as there will be rent to pay, electricity, gas, groceries and savings for that dream place of our own or holiday we just have to have.
So whilst love brings us all the warm and fuzzy feelings we need, sooner or later we are going to have to talk money. And as anyone in a relationship can attest, nothing has the potential to cause the blood pressure to rise than discussing how we spend it.
In fact, money is the major predictor of divorce, according to Sonya Britt, a Kansa State University researcher, which would be of no surprise to anyone who has ever had a joint bank account with their partner.
How Can Love And Money Successfully Co-Exist?
So how do we ease the pressure on us, to ensure that money is not something that tears us apart, but actually brings us closer together?
- Share the responsibility
No single person should have sole responsibility for the household finances, as it places a massive burden upon them. So if decisions are falling to one person, it’s time to change things and for the non-contributor to step up and share the responsibility with their partner.
- Play to your strengths
We all have different skills, so when it comes to money work out your strengths. If attention to detail is your thing, then you keep track of the numbers, whilst your partner uses their ‘gift of the gab’ to re-negotiate rates with your energy suppliers.
- Be an open book
We cannot help with what we do not know. So if you have nasty spending habits like gambling or overusing the credit card, do not keep this from your partner. Be open and honest so, you can tackle things together and support each other to spend more wisely.
- Don’t be mean
Are you a spender or a saver? If you are a saver then you will have seemingly uncontrollable urges to curb your partners spending. This can lead to some serious arguments about who is in control of the money. So instead of yelling, why not find a compromise and agree on a weekly budget for ‘play’ money which is held in a separate account
- Keep it relaxed
Discussing budgeting and coming to agreement on how we spend can be really difficult. So take the stress and discuss over a glass of wine or your favourite food, this should help the conversation to sail a little more smoothly.
- Celebrate your success
Set a fun goal as a couple for when you achieve a financial milestone. Whether that be a romantic weekend away or booking that long dreamed of holiday destination. Whatever it is, ensure it is something you both want and will work together to achieve.
Remember, relationships are a partnership and by ensuring decisions made around savings and spending are shared equally, you can strengthen yours and get back to the snuggling and cuddling, after all isn’t that what relationships should be all about.